Govt, UN agencies accredit 11 baby-friendly hospitals

The new Mulago specialised Women and Neonatal hospital

What you need to know:

  • This began in August 2020 with a baseline assessment of 29 health facilities. 

Eleven health facilities in the metropolitan area have been recognised and accredited with the baby-friendly status, signalling an improvement in quality of care, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has said.
The accreditation, which is done by the Ministry of Health, KCCA, World Health Organisation and United Nations Children’s Fund, is for facilities that fulfil 14 requirements. The initiative is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 

KCCA said the initiative is aimed at encouraging adherence to the requirements that focus on ensuring that mothers and infants receive appropriate and timely care during their stay at health facilities. 
“The other requirements are the promotion of optimal feeding practices and contribute to their overall health and development,”  KCCA said last week.

The health facilities that have achieved baby-friendly status in Kampala include five KCCA health facilities, which are Komamboga Health Centre IV, Kiswa Health Centre II, Kisenyi Health Centre IV, Kisugu Health Cemtre III and Kitebi Health Centre III. Lubaga Hospital, Kiganda Maternity Centre, Nakasero Hospital, St Stephen’s Hospital, Kawempe National Referral Hospital, and Mulago Specialised Women and Neonatal Hospital were also accredited.

Dr Evelyn Christine Nabunya, the executive director of Mulago Specialised Women Neonatal Hospital, told Monitor yesterday that they received the certificate for accreditation last week.
“The exercise was against 14 requirements that we had to fulfil to be accredited. So, this is part of the quality improvement project by Kampala Capital City Authority in partnership with USAID and Ministry of Health,”  she said. 
According to information from the Health ministry, the government has set a target of having 50 percent of health facilities providing maternal and newborn services accredited as baby-friendly by 2025, a quality assurance intervention. 

In the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) 2022 report released last week, for infant mortality, there was a decline from 43 to 36 deaths per 1,000 live births in the past five years (between 2016 and 2022), indicating that there is an improvement in care. 
The journey towards achieving baby-friendly status in Kampala, KCCA said, began in August 2020 with a baseline assessment of 29 health facilities, which “none of the health facilities initially met the criteria.”

“Subsequent on-site capacity strengthening, training of health workers and mentorship efforts led to remarkable progress. In 2023, 16 health facilities underwent external assessment, with 11 successfully meeting the requirements for the baby-friendly status,”  KCCA revealed.
“This accomplishment signifies a significant stride towards enhancing the health and well-being of infants and mothers in the capital city and stands as a testament to the dedication and collaboration of various stakeholders in promoting breastfeeding practices and ensuring the survival and thriving of Kampala’s youngest citizens,” it added.