Sharjah, 1st Nov. 2014 (WAM) - The Sharjah Baby-Friendly Emirate Campaign has officially launched its smart app which includes tips and guidelines for breastfeeding and healthy nutrition for babies, as well as promoting awareness of the campaigns, its objectives and roles in provision of supporting environment and encouraging mothers start and continue breastfeeding.
The launch was announced during a panel discussion organised by the campaign at Sharjah Ladies Club yesterday, in presence of Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Director of the Executive Committee of Sharjah Baby-Friendly Emirate Campaign, Khawla Al Serkal, Director of Sharjah Ladies Club, Dr Hassan Obaid Al Muhairi, Dr Hassan Obaid Al Muhairi, Professor of Computer Engineering at Khalifa University in addition to a number of SLC’s and students from Khalifa Universities.
HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of
Sharjah, witnessed the initial launch of the smart app of Sharjah Baby-Friendly Emirate Campaign, during his visit to the campaign stand at Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival last April.
At the start of the panel discussion, Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal welcomed the attendees and the visiting student delegation from Khalifa University, four of whom collaborated in designing the smart app for Sharjah Baby-Friendly Emirate Campaign. She added that the campaign has been able during the 30 months since its inception to achieve excellent results, including visits and meetings with government and private organisations in the Emirate to spread awareness on the objectives and benefits of the campaign and organising a range of training courses and educational workshops. As a result, the campaign was able to promote awareness and train hundreds of professionals at organisations and nurseries as well as healthcare providers at government and private healthcare facilities in Sharjah.
She pointed out that it is important to leverage social networking and smart applications to deliver the basic information about the campaign and to promote to fundamentals of breastfeeding and related tips, as the application, which forms the first step of smart applications created by the campaign in collaboration with Khalifa University, provides tips, guidelines and information about the campaign, its objectives and how to contact the campaign management, which will increase public interaction with the campaign’s programmes.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr Hassan Al Muhairi, Assistant Professor at Khalifa University and supervisor of the team of students who created the app, said: "As a centre of innovation in the UAE, Khalifa University is committed to supporting the community as part of its social responsibility. This position inspires our students to spare no efforts to support various organizations in the country with latest technologies that help raise the level of community service. This application is an example of our students’ contribution. We are proud of their sense of responsibility towards the community. Through the university’s support, they are able to utilize technological development to make our lives easier".
Samya Al Mandoos, the coordinator of the smart app from Sharjah baby friendly campaign, on behalf of the students who designed the smart app, demonstrated the four parts of the application. The first part includes tips and guidelines for mothers on healthy breastfeeding habits and advice on healthy nutrition for children. The second part includes introduction about the Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign, its vision, mission and objectives. The third part presents the four initiatives of the campaign: Baby-Friendly healthcare facilities, Mother-Friendly workplaces, baby-friendly nurses, and mother and baby-friendly public places, while the fourth part gives information about how to contact the campaign.
Students confirmed that the application is available for smart phone and tablet users at the App Store for Apple phone users and Play for Android phone users in both Arabic and English languages and added that the application will not be the only one and that they will design more applications in support of the campaign, with the aim of promoting it across all segments of society.
Khawla Al Serkal spoke about the importance of smart app in educating mothers on important issues their lives, especially in healthcare, social, and educational matters.
She added that usability and fast loading of this app, as well as its interactive features, will help it spread wide, particularly among mothers. The presence of more applications of this type is vital to cover all aspects of women’s interests. She added that the Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign’s app will encourage women to respond to the campaign and interact with the experts who are working in the campaign.
Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal thanked Khalifa University’s management for their collaboration with the campaign and for their positive community initiatives. She also thanked the four students who created the application: Israa Al Hadhrami, Fatima Al Zuaabi, Tasneem Khalid and Omar Abdul Jalil, and the supervising professor Dr Hassan Obaid Al Muhairi, for their outstanding efforts in serving the community and contributing to developing services rendered to public in the UAE.
Launched in March 2012, The campaign is aimed at creating a better and healthier environment for future generations, and hence it aspires to ensure that all health facilities, establishments, nurseries, workplaces and public places provide a healthy environment for babies and mothers, with the aim of Sharjah becoming totally baby-friendly by 2015.
Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign is based on the WHO and UNICEF International Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), launched in 1991, and promoted by the UAE Ministry of Health (Maternal and Child Health Central Administration) since 1993. The campaign seeks to encourage public facilities and organizations in four categories: health facilities, workplaces, nurseries and public places, to get the SBFC accreditation by improving the care of mothers and newborns at facilities that provide maternity services for protecting, prompting, and supporting breastfeeding.