Arcelor Mittal and UNICEF help the babies born in Galati Maternity Hospital get the best start in life
ArcelorMittal Galati and UNICEF Romania are one step closer to their goal of transforming the Maternity from Saint Andrei County Emergency Hospital into a Baby-Friendly unit.
The project started at the beginning of 2008, and with the help of USD 160,000 from ArcelorMittal Galati it focused on creating a mother and baby friendly environment. This included, best quality services from efficient staff and the provisuion of new, modern furniture. The project aims at improving mother and child bonding, reducing child abandonment at nursery level, making pregnancy and maternity safer and improving parental skills.
“We are proud to take part in helping the new generation have a proper start in life and we thank our partners from UNICEF for making this project a reality”, stated Augustine Kochuparampil, C.E.O. ArcelorMittal Galati. “We are committed to continue our support for the young generation despite the difficult conditions the steel industry is facing, as we see ourselves as long term partner for the local community of Galati”.
The babies who will be born at the Maternity from Saint Andrei County Emergency Hospital will get the best start in life. They will be together with their mothers from the first moments of life, which is the first step for their healthy emotional development. Being all the time with the mother, the children will be breastfed when they are hungry, and not according to a rigid schedule. The mothers will get essential information from the nurses on the benefits of breastfeeding, on how to breastfeed correctly and how to properly take care of their babies.
“Breastfeeding is the first right of a baby and we want this right to be respected in all maternities in Romania. In Galati, this was possible with the contribution of ArcelorMittal, which offered more than financial support. UNICEF appreciates the efforts of the personnel from the Galati Nursery to change detrimental practices and mentalities of feeding and taking care of babies. It is an investment in the wellbeing of thousands of children born each year in Galati, in their families and the community they enter into”, said Edmond McLoughney, UNICEF Representative in Romania.
The first part of the two years project involved completely refurnishing 25 rooms with beds and mattresses and room furniture for mothers and babies.
UNICEF Romania and ArcelorMittal Galati volunteers brought 105 beds and mattresses for mothers, 86 for babies, 105 nightstands, 47 swaddle tables and mattresses, 53 tables and chairs for the rooms, 24 tables and 90 chairs for the canteen.
Also, the entire maternity personnel – 15 doctors and 57 nurses – were instructed to promote breastfeeding and to offer mothers special attention. This translated into counselling on proper baby feeding and into advice on proper care of the children. Mothers at risk of abandoning their babies are counselled and supported to keep and care for their children. The programme also aims at increasing the quality of services offered by the Maternity staff, and is part of the National Strategy to promote breastfeeding, implemented by the Health Ministry.
The programme is managed by UNICEF and consists of 10 steps the hospital has to take representing the standards of quality and good practice that the entire Maternity personnel use in their relationship with the mother and child. By the end of this year, the Maternity will be evaluated and certificated as “Baby-Friendly Hospital”.
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