Early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding of young children are essential components of Ghana’s Infant and Young Child Feeding Strategy. However, only 56% of Ghanaian infants initiate breastfeeding within the recommended one hour post-delivery. Further, only 52% of infants below 6 months are exclusively breastfed. The duration of exclusive breastfeeding has been progressively declining over the past decade.
Led by a team at the University of Ghana, the BBF Committee evaluated Ghana’s breastfeeding friendly environment in 2016-2017 and then in 2018. Both assessments indicated Ghana had a moderate scaling up environment for breastfeeding, however the total score fell from 2.0 in 2017 to 1.6 in 2018. The strength of the gears also changed across time.
2018 BBF Reassessment
The 2018 reassessment of Ghana’s breastfeeding friendly environment highlighted improvements as well as further challenges within the breastfeeding environment since first implementing BBF in 2016-2017.
Key recommendations were prioritized to continue strengthening the breastfeeding friendly environment in Ghana.
- Ensure strong and sustained promotion environment for breastfeeding.
- Ensure adequate funding and resources are allocated for Breastfeeding promotion, protection and support in Ghana.
- Ensure strong institutional and individual capacity for service delivery and accountability
- Ensure coordination and partnerships across key stakeholders
- Ensure decisions on breastfeeding policies and programs are evidence informed
2016-2017 BBF Assessment
The 2016 assessment of Ghana’s breastfeeding friendly environment through the BBF initiative identified gaps in the national breastfeeding programming in Ghana. Key recommended actions were prioritized and presented to decision makers to address the gaps identified by implementing BBF and scale up breastfeeding protection, promotion, and support in Ghana.
- Strengthen advocacy by enlisting more breastfeeding champions (high level and visible individuals); engage with existing champions and build their capacity.
- Ratify and adopt provisions of ILO Maternity Protection Convention, 2000, No. 183.
- Harmonize, Strengthen, and monitor pre-service and in-service training of health staff and volunteers providing breastfeeding services.
- Scale up dissemination of accurate information on breastfeeding practice using multiple channels of communication at all levels.