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Prof Welma Lubbe from the School of Nursing Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom campus and board member of NNASA were invited to participate in the Neo-BFHI Reference Group.  Neo-BFHI is a committee with an interested to expand the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative to the Neonatal Intensive Care context.  Prof Lubbe work in the field of neurodevelopmental supportive care of the preterm infant and feeding and soothing are some of the main areas that are addressed in her research.  Neo-BFHI therefor fits in very well with her current work, she presented on the topic at the local Neonatal Nurses Association of South Africa conference during August 2016 and will be part of the Reference Group to test new material developed by the Neo-BFHI steering committee, provide context specific feedback and assist in the implementation of the initiative in South Africa.

Task and functions of the reference group include:

  • Collaborate with the Neo-BFHI Steering Committee to encourage and support the implementation of the Neo-BFHI at the international level mainly via e-mail or audio/video conferences.
  • Encourage and support implementation of the Neo-BFHI in their settings.
  • Ensure that national/regiona/local Neo-BFHI committees and websites have the most up-to-date information and versions of documents.
  • Give suggestions for revisions of the Neo-BFHI Core document (descriptions of Steps and Guiding Principles’ standards and criteria) and other materials for periodic updates (every 5-10 years), and when new evidence and situations emerge that need to be included in the program.
  • Participate whenever possible in international, national, regional or local conferences, meetings, training sessions, etc. where issues related to Neo-BFHI program are held in order to remain in agreement with the original program and to contribute to the wide dissemination of the Neo-BFHI and its materials.
  • Being a committee member also implies willingness to commit certain time (unspecified) to work for the Reference Group, and agreement with the WHO recommendations for breastfeeding, the original BFHI program, the Neo-BFHI program, and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and its subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions. Please note that note that no funding is available to support travel, etc.

Health care professionals that are interested in this field and who would like to get involved are invited to contact Prof Lubbe at, 018 299 1898 or 082 732 4730.

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