Marange Rural Hospital Attains World Class Baby Friendly Status

Article by the National Nutrition Unit (MoHCC)

MARANGE Rural Hospital was conferred with the world class Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative \(BFHI) status on August, 31 2017, the last day of the month in which we commemorate breastfeeding.

At a certification ceremony attended by over 300 people from Marange community, Manicaland Provincial Health Executive, Mutare District Health Executive and the nutrition community, Dr Bernard Madzima handed over the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative world renowned placard to the Sister-in-Charge for Marange Hospital, Sister Marimanzi.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global status awarded to health centres for successfully implementing the 10 successful steps to breastfeeding. It was launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United National Children’s Fund (UNOICEF) in 1991 to recognize health centres offering optimum level of care for breastfeeding and promoting early mother-baby bonding.

“I want to hear that all men in this Marange community are accompanying their wives to the clinic especially when they are pregnant. Love your wives becasue if you dont, somebody else will. You heard it for yourselves even a breast greeted, just saying hello breast, desist from beating up your wives,” said Chief Marange during the ceremony.

Dr Bernard Madzima (right) unveils the Marange Baby-friendly Hospital Placard while Dr Maravanyika (middle) and Dr Mafaune (left) applauds

The Provincial Medical Director for Manicaland Province, Dr Mafaune said she was proud of her province and jovially said; “Marange Hospital you have put us on the map. Now you are the 7th health facility in Manicaland to have attained this Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Status and I hear in Zimbabwe there are only eight hospitals with such a status. That means Manicaland we are number one.”

Several non-governmental organisations also attended the Marange BFHI certification event. The Deputy Director for MCHIP Mrs Shamiso Nyakuwa commended the work being done by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in ensuring hospitals attain such status of quality breastfeeding standards that is recognized at international level. She committed to continue supporting the government through providing resources where they are needed as they did at the Marange Rural hospital.

One of the local support groups for pregnant and breastfeeding women; Kukura kurerwa women support group performs a drama during the Marange BFHI Certification ceremony

One of the community members Mai Melody explained the pivotal role that the community has also contributed in promoting early breastfeeding (within 30 minutes to an hour after birth as recommended by the National Nutrition Unit). She said even those traditional birth attendants no longer assist women in the community in giving birth.

It has been noted that even the Mbuya Nyamukuta’s from the village now deny assisting women in giving birth and even go to the extent of taking you to the hospital so that all births in Marange are attended by a skilled health worker at the hospital. “Even mapostori (apostolic faith believers) are now coming to the hospital to give birth,” added Mai Melody.

The guest of honour to the ceremony Dr Bernard Madzima who is the Family Health Director in the Ministry of Health Child Care commended men from Marange area for their active role in supporting maternal and child health issues.

In his speech he gave in Bocha (local rural Marange dialect) he explained how this BFHI perfectly fits in the Ministry’s National Health strategic plan 2016 – 2020 of ensuring quality health centres and improving quality of service provided to clients. He applauded the District team led by Dr Maravanyika, Mutare District Medical Officer and Ms Caroline Chipinduro, the District Nutritionist.

The final speech was given by Sister Ngwenya, the Marange BFHI committee coordinator. She gave the full roadmap that the hospital took starting in November 2014 for them to achieve such an honourable world status.
Very few hospitals in the world have managed to attain this BFHI status and Marange hospital is among the only eight hospitals in Zimbabwe- It is very worth noting that these eight excludes the major referral hospitals in Zimbabwe. As a country we still have a long way to go in promoting breastfeeding- the natural way of feeding babies.

Dr Bernard Madzima (right) unveils the Marange Baby-friendly Hospital Placard while Dr Maravanyika (middle) and Dr Mafaune (left) applauds

One of the local support groups for pregnant and breastfeeding women; Kukura kurerwa women support group performs a drama during the Marange BFHI Certification ceremony
Article by the National Nutrition Unit

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