The Nicaragua Mother and Baby Friendly Health Units Initiative: Factors Influencing Its Success and Sustainability

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The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative launched by United Nations Children's Fund and the World Health Organization in 1993 had become the world's largest focused accreditation program, with over 19,000 hospitals in 150 countries certified as having complied with the "Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding." Yet for all its success, the initiative had problems with sustainability. However, the Mother and Baby Friendly Health Units Initiative in Nicaragua, a program of the Ministry of Health in cooperation with UNICEF, appears to have been the exception. This study by the Quality Assurance Project and UNICEF/ Nicaragua examined whether it continues to be sustained.

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