Since 1991, the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) has helped to motivate facilities providing maternity and newborn services worldwide to better support breastfeeding. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (the Ten Steps), the BFHI focuses on providing optimal clinical care for new mothers and their infants. There is substantial evidence that implementing the Ten Steps significantly improves breastfeeding rates.
The BFHI has been implemented in almost all countries in the world with varying degrees of success. Low coverage and sustainability of the BFHI programme due to the vertical programme implementation has been identified as a major contributing factor. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) re-evaluated the programme and produced an updated implementation guidance document that presents the first revision of the Ten Steps since 1989.
The implementation guidance also recommends revisions to the national implementation of the BFHI, with an emphasis on scaling up to universal coverage and ensuring sustainability over time. The guidance focuses on integrating the programme more fully in the health-care system, to ensure that all facilities in a country implement the Ten Steps. Countries are called upon to fulfil nine key responsibilities through a national BFHI programme, including establishing or strengthening a national coordination body; integrating the Ten Steps into national policies and standards; ensuring the capacity of all health-care professionals; using external assessment to regularly evaluate adherence to the Ten Steps; incentivizing change; providing necessary technical assistance; monitoring implementation; continuously communicating and advocating; and identifying and allocating sufficient resources.
The third strategic priority of the WHO Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019-20223 (GPW13) aims to improve human capital by using innovation and a life course approach, with a special focus on women, children and adolescents, to provide integrated services, and by enabling people to access the information, goods and services they need to survive and thrive at all ages. The Programme of Work recognises critical points across the life course where human capital can be improved through evidence-based interventions that address risk factors (such as nutrition and exclusive breastfeeding) and promote health and well-being.
WHO/Malawi is seeking the services of a suitably qualified candidate to serve as consultant to support the Ministry of Health to identify contextual factors that have facilitated or limited the success of scaling up and/or sustaining the implementation of BFHI and provide recommendations on how to strengthen the integration and institutionalization of the BFHI programme.
Inception report on the policy and programme integration status of BFHI and MNCH to Ministry of Health. Inception report to include details on methodology of the review process.
Conduct working session with stakeholders on the BFHI and MNCAH policy and programmatic review.
Develop checklist and any relevant tools to be used by field team and facilitate facility level situation analysis and compile field report
Plan and facilitate working session to present findings and recommendations to relevant technical working groups and stakeholders for validation
Qualifications, experience, skills and languages
Essential: Master’s Degree in Public Health or related field
Desirable: Master’s Degree in child health Nursing and/or Nutrition with a child health focus
Essential: A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience in public health
Desirable: Minimum 8 years experience in policy development, designing and implementation of BFHI and/or MNCH; Familiarity with documentation of lessons especially in community health and nutrition.
Strong analytical and technical abilities particularly on BFHI and MNCH
Expertise in working with Government, UN, Development Partners and academic institutions
Ability to use prioritize, multi-task, and work well independently under pressure to meet deadlines
Ability to read, analyse and interpret complex documents
Ability to produce high quality work with accuracy and close attention to detail.
Languages and level required
Advanced English and Chichewa both oral and written
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