Health Facilities Commit to Improving Services for New Mothers and Babies in the Kyrgyz Republic
According to the Kyrgyz Republic Demographic and Health Survey from 2014, only 60 percent of newborns in the Kyrgyz Republic are breastfed within an hour after birth and only 41 percent of infants under 6 months are exclusively breastfed. Evidence shows that raising these numbers can help to reduce infant mortality and child malnutrition. To improve support services for new mothers, WHO and UNICEF initiated the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) for appropriate breastfeeding and mother and child bonding, such as skin-to-skin contact between the mother and baby immediately after birth.
Funded by USAID, SPRING/Krygyz Republic has conducted BFHI trainings for 735 facility-based health providers and administration staff in Jalalabad and Naryn oblasts. SPRING has also provided technical assistance and education materials to health facilities working to earn Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative certification. On June 29, 2017, after a national Ministry of Health (MOH) assessment, three SPRING-supported health facilities, Naryn Oblast Hospital, Naryn Oblast FMC, and Mailuu-Suu General Practice Center in Jalalabad oblast, earned BFHI certifications.
The BFHI certification awarding ceremony was attended by Nora Madrigal, the USAID Health & Education Office Director, Aigul Boobekova, Deputy Head of the Department of Healthcare and Drug Policy at the Ministry of Health, Saadat Sattarova, Head of Kyrgyzstan Office for Save the Children, and Naryn oblast local government representatives. On the same day, in Jalalabad, the award ceremony was attended by MOH representative Samat Toimatov, Head of the Department of Healthcare and Drug Policy at the Ministry of Health, who awarded BFHI certificates to Sabyr Kenzhebaev, Head of Mailuu-Suu General Practice Center. So far, 11 SPRING-supported health facilities have earned BFHI designation. SPRING/Kyrgyz Republic will continue to support improvement of quality service, which is especially important for mothers and newborns.