Mother and Child Health

Promotion of Baby Friendly Health Centers in Siem Reap and Preah Vihear Province

Organisation: World Vision Deutschland e.V. (WVD)
Partner country: Cambodia
Partner organisation in partner country: World Vision International Cambodia (WVI-C)


Cambodia showed impressive achievements in the percentage of children being exclusively breastfed during their first 6 months of life, from 11% in 2000 to 74% in 2010; but a decrease to 65% in 2014 and 51% in 2021 (CDHS). This sharp decline has been attributed to aggressive marketing campaigns for breastmilk substitutes and the weak implementation of national legislation to regulate the practice.



Increased early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding rates in Siem Reap and Preah Vihear provinces of Cambodia through the promotion of 34 Baby-Friendly Health Centers.

  1. Percentage of Health Centers that are certified/accredited as Baby Friendly Health Centers.  
  2. Number of Community Health Workers who were trained on a standard curriculum to promote breastfeeding practices at the community level
  3. Number of people trained as Lactation counsellors based on a standard training curriculum



Outcome 1: Increase the skills and knowledge of the Provincial Health Department (PHD) staff, Health Center staff (midwife and nurses) and Community Health Workers to effectively monitor, supervise and promote breastfeeding practices in the respective health centers.

Outcome 2: Improve the breastfeeding practices among pregnant women and post-partum mothers at the community level.

Outcome 3: Certify the Health Centers and make the Operational guidelines for BFHC available for scale up in Cambodia.



In consultation with National Maternal and Child Health Centre along with the Provincial Health Department and Health Centre chief, the training material and the operational plan for the implementation of the BFHC will be drafted. This will be added as an addendum to the existing National level Operational Guidelines on Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.
At the Provincial Health Department level, the supervision tools for BFHC will be added and made as a routine to be measured and reported to the National Department.
At the community level, the Lactation counsellors will be supported and recognised by the health centre and the commune authorities to promote breastfeeding. Within a period of 3 years, the  Provincial health department and health centre chiefs will be guided to budget adequately within their department to cover the supervision, capacity building and on-going monitoring support so that these health centers can continue as baby-friendly health centres even after the closure of the project. These Health Centres will be accredited as Centres of Excellence for promotion of breastfeeding, enabling other health centres in the district/province to learn and implement it.

Special features:

The project is keen to explore the opportunities to support the development of Baby Friendly Health centres (BFHCs) aligned with the BFHI (Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative) standards, launched by MoH during September, 2022. World Vision identifies the practices and gaps at the Health Centers on protection, promotion and support for breastfeeding using the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative as the guidance framework and to draft the operational guidance to implement BFHC.

Here you can find further information.