#Mandeville, October 30, 2018 – Jamaica – Consultant in Paediatrics and Gynaecology, Dr. Donna-Marie Gray-Henry, says breast milk is the ideal food for babies, and that breastfeeding is the best investment in the long-term health of an infant.
Speaking at the official launch of the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative e-Learning Portal and the opening of the Breastfeeding Training Room at the Mandeville Regional Hospital in Manchester on October 26, she pointed out that breastfeeding reduces the incidence of infant morbidity illnesses and the incidence of infant deaths.
“This will ensure more healthy babies and fewer coming to the emergency rooms,” Dr. Gray-Henry said.
“Breastfeeding halves the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), childhood malignancy, reduces the risk of maternal illnesses, breast cancer, and post-partum haemorrhage – the global cause of maternal death,” she said.
Dr. Gray-Henry argued that one of the “dragons” fighting against breastfeeding is the fast-growing multibillion-dollar baby formula industry, the fastest growing packaged food industry.
“With that kind of capital backing advertising and flooding the market, how will we protect our moms and babies?” Dr. Gray-Henry questioned.
She encouraged mothers to do so by continuing to breastfeed and be part of the baby-friendly hospital initiative, which aims to deliver the global gold standard of patient care.
“It is customer-friendly and will be certified, and involved the team completing 20 hours of training to be ready to deliver the service to mothers,” Dr. Gray-Henry said.
To further enhance the process, the e-Learning platform has been developed and can be easily accessed on all hand-held devices. When it goes live, persons can log into a virtual classroom for the theory. This is the first application of this particular curriculum in this format in the world, and will teach mothers the rudiments of breastfeeding online.
An audio version, as well as tutors, will also be available online. Medical practitioners (doctors, nurses and midwives) who complete the course will also get Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours upon completion of the course.
First-time mothers and members of the public who want to support the breastfeeding initiative are also welcome to do the course.
Meanwhile, Regional Director of the SRHA, Michael Bent, lauded the e-Learning platform and promised a massive launch when it is ready to be rolled out.
“In the region, we continue to utilise initiative from the staff to show the world that we take healthcare seriously and we want to do things differently. We want to ensure that all persons concerned use this platform and get used to this method of training, because we have to ensure there is investment in the human resources at SRHA going forward,” Mr. Bent said, adding that he looks forward to Mandeville Regional Hospital being certified as a baby-friendly facility.
Contact: Barbara Ellington