20-hour courses targetted medical staff providing health care for mothers and children



Sharjah, 27 December 2017


The Sharjah Baby Friendly Office (SBFO) recently organised two training workshops for the medical personnel at Khorfakkan Hospital and Sharjah Parents Council with the objective to improve breastfeeding practices in the emirate by equipping health facilities and institutions dealing with mothers and infants.


The workshops targeting nurses at nurseries affiliated to the Sharjah Education Council and medical staff at healthcare centres form part of SBFO’s continued efforts to establish Sharjah as a child-friendly city. They also further the accomplishments of the Sharjah Baby-Friendly Campaign (SBFC), which led to United Nation’s recognition of Sharjah as a Baby-Friendly City in December 2015.


Held at Khorfakkan Hospital from December 18-21, the workshop was attended by 50 medical professionals in pediatrics and women’s health, and disseminated the knowledge and practical training required for them to be able to offer more culturally sensitive support and information to mothers, helping them not only to learn how to breastfeed their babies, but to ultimately enable the local community to accept it as a necessary and healthy social practice.


The 20-hour course is certified by the Ministry of Health and Prevention.


The second workshop, which was held in cooperation with Sharjah Education Council, and took place from December 24-27, featured awareness lectures and training for 35 nurses at nurseries under the Council, and medical staff from healthcare centres across the emirate. The attendees were trained in compliance with the latest medical expertise in the field of breastfeeding and general healthcare for women and children. 


Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Executive Director of SBFO, said: “The training courses aim to promote awareness about the importance of breastfeeding at the very roots. Therefore, it focused on equipping medical professionals who work with mothers and babies. It is crucial that citizens and residents are made fully aware of the importance of this practice in ensuring the health and wellness of both mother and child, and as a society we denounce all beliefs and behaviours that prevent it.”


She added: “The two workshops targeted health professionals working in nurseries as well as healthcare centres and children’s institutions because starting out early smooths out the process and ensures mothers are well aware of all aspects of breastfeeding, and the potential harm of formula milk, which many mother begin to use to avoid being looked at strangely or sometimes even because they are not sure what to do.”


The participating medical staff also learnt about the proper steps to encourage women to breastfeed, as well as help them adopt healthy breastfeeding practices, which would ensure overall wellness for both mother and child.


The workshops were organised by SBFC as part the Baby-Friendly Health Facilities’ initiative adopted by Sharjah within the ‘Baby-Friendly Hospital’ initiative launched by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. They also complement with the three community initiatives that targeted establishments and community members to support and encourage breastfeeding, including ‘Mother and Baby-Friendly Public Places’, ‘Mother-Friendly Establishments, and ‘Breastfeeding -Friendly Nurseries.


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About Sharjah Baby Friendly Office:

SBFO was established in June 2016 and aims to protect and elevate the status and wellbeing of children of all ages in Sharjah. It creates relevant strategies and plans and implements them in cooperation with relevant institutions and government authorities. The office is currently tasked with overseeing the continuation and implementation of the Sharjah Baby-Friendly Emirate Campaign (targeting 0-2 year-olds), and the Sharjah Child Friendly City Project (targeting 0-18 year-olds).