Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Patron of the Breastfeeding Friends (BFF), has launched a five-year campaign entitled Sharjah: a Baby-Friendly Emirate.
Running from 2011 to 2016 the campaign, the first of its kind in the UAE and the region will be accompanied by four initiatives, the first of which involves the establishment of baby-friendly healthcare facilities. The second initiative will focus on the creation of mother-friendly workplaces while the third is aimed at creating and enhancing baby-friendly environments in the emirate. The final initiative will look at transforming childcare centres and nurseries into baby-friendly places.
The campaign was launched during the annual general assembly meeting of the BFF UAE to review last year's outcomes and discuss the strategy for this year.
Sheikha Bodour said: "This initiative is set to make Sharjah the region's top promoter of breastfeeding, leading the way in education and support, and also helping promote related activities across the region."
She added that BFF constantly organises courses and seminars dedicated to encouraging and promoting breastfeeding, and that it is raising health awareness by providing information and training to mothers. The BFF society also communicates, networks and coordinates continuously with hospitals and healthcare centres to achieve its desired objectives.
Sheikha Bodour expressed hope that the campaign will succeed in providing millions of infants with a healthy and safe start in life, noting that science has proved that breastfeeding helps reduce infant deaths, and that breastfeeding provides children with effective protection against many acute and chronic diseases.
As part of the initiative, Sheikha Bodour officially opened the Nursing Mothers' Room in the Supreme Council for Family Affairs building, one of the first establishments to adopt the initiative of supporting nursing working mothers.