National implementation of the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative 2017

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 60 (report), 4 (summary)
Publication date: 2017
Languages: English, French (summary)
ISBN: 978 92 4 151238 1 (report)
WHO reference number: WHO/NMH/NHD/17.4 (summary)



The Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched in 1991 as a global programme to incentivize maternity facilities throughout the world to adhere to the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and comply with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

This report provides an analysis of the current status of the BFHI in countries around the world. Based on the 2nd Global Nutrition Policy Review, implemented by WHO in 2016-2017, the report presents the implementation of the initiative 25 years after its launch.

The report describes programme coverage, the current designation process, reasons for termination in places where the programme has been discontinued, integration of the Ten Steps into other standards and policies, and overall lessons learned. In addition, the report provides qualitative information on some of the challenges countries have faced in implementing the BFHI.

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