UNICEF in action

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

Hospitals and maternity units set a powerful example for new mothers.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative ( BFHI ), launched in 1991, is
an effort by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to ensure that
all maternities,whether free standing or in a hospital, become centers
of breastfeeding support.


A father watches as his wife breastfeeds their new baby in the
maternity ward of the Singburi Hospital, in the town of the same
name. Fathers are encouraged to learn about the benefits and become
active supporters of breastfeeding.

is one of 12 developing countries to take the lead in instituting
the “ten steps” of baby-friendly practice in as many hospitals
as possible.

A maternity facility can be designated ‘baby-friendly’ when it does
not accept free or

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Health | UNICEF

Despite the scale of the challenge, solutions are in sight. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires a global shift from treating diseases to strengthening health systems so that all children, adolescents and women of reproductive age have access to affordable, quality health care.

UNICEF works around the world – including in some of the hardest-to-reach places – to help children survive and thrive. Through public and private partnerships at the global, national and community levels, we focus on:

Maternal, newborn and child survival

UNICEF works to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths by scaling up essential maternal and newborn care services, sustaining immunization programmes, and supporting preventive, promotive and curative services for pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and other child health conditions.

Child and adolescent health and well-being

UNICEF is committed to helping children and adolescents build a solid foundation for adulthood. We support national health plans on adolescent health and

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