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Breastfeeding is an important determinant of health, associated with benefits for both baby and mother. The Ontario Public Health Standards require public health units in Ontario to monitor breastfeeding trends. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care also specified the Baby-Friendly Initiative status as a Public Health Accountability Agreement Indicator for 2011-13. Despite this, there is currently no province-wide standardized data collection method or tool in Ontario to collect breastfeeding trend data. The purpose of this study was to determine the features of a feasible standardized tool and data collection method to carry out population-based breastfeeding surveillance that enables public health units in Ontario to have accurate, standardized and comparable surveillance data. The Breastfeeding project was undertaken as part of PHO’s Locally Driven Collaborative Projects (LDCP) program.
This presentation will outline the development, implementation and evaluation of the pilot testing of this tool. The recommendations from this project will serve as a step toward the goal of one province-wide or national breastfeeding surveillance system.
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Presenters: Dr. Gillian Alton & Evelyn te Nyenhuis
Gillian Alton is an epidemiologist at Oxford County Public Health and Special Graduate Faculty with the Population Medicine Department at the University of Guelph. Gillian has a Master’s and PhDin epidemiology focusing on health surveillance methodologies from the University of Guelph. Gillian was the project lead for the LDCP Breastfeeding project.
Evelyn te Nyenhuis is a Public Health Nurse and IBCLC for York Region Public Health’s Breastfeeding Program. Her roles include lead for BFI Implementation and Breastfeeding Surveillance. She is an active member of the LDCP Breastfeeding Surveillance group, chairing the subgroup that developed the final recommended surveys and guidance document. She will chair the group of representatives from Health Units that continue to use the tools on an on-going basis.
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