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Hospitals honoured for breastfeeding

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with Alive & Thrive on August 26 announced two hospitals as Centres of Excellence for Breastfeeding, including Tran Van Thoi Hospital in southern Ca Mau province and Can Tho Gynaecology and Obstetrics Hospital in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

The Centre of Excellence for Breastfeeding is awarded to hospitals for creating and maintaining breastfeeding-friendly environments which is critical to the health of both mothers and their newborns, said Prof. Nguyen Viet Tien, Deputy Minister of Health.

This is the first-time feedback from mothers who have recently delivered at a hospital has been incorporated into the hospital designation. It reflects the direction of the Ministry of Health to improve healthcare services towards patients’ satisfaction, said Nguyen Duc Vinh, Director of the ministry's Maternal and Child Health Department.

Twenty-eight hospitals have so far applied for the Centre of Excellence designation nationwide, including four private hospitals; more than half of them are district hospitals. Eight other hospitals have been designated and will also be awarded later this year.

The Centre of Excellence model is important because early initiation of breastfeeding – within the first hour of birth – is highly beneficial to both a mother and a newborn baby.