MAPBIN - Mauritius
MAPBIN – Mauritian Action for the Promotion of Breastfeeding and Infant Nutrition
MAPBIN is the social arm of CRC Group and is part of our Mauritius-based company CRC- The Compliance Experts Africa (Mauritius) Ltd. It is a not-for-profit project. Historically, since its inception in June 1983, MAPBIN has been operating as an NGO in Mauritius but was dormant over a period of 8 years (from 2013 to 2021) because of lack of volunteers and funds. CRC has restructured it and is now supporting its revival.
Co-founder of IBFAN Afrique (International Baby Food Action Network), MAPBIN has been an active participant of the IBFAN network since 1983. We are also part of WABA (World Alliance of Breastfeeding Action). MAPBIN is specialised in advocating, protecting and supporting breastfeeding and infant nutrition. We also monitor and check compliance with the World Health Organisation and UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, national legislations related to infant feeding, the IBA Code of Advertising Practice and the AAA Little Red Book.
Brief notes on the origin of MAPBIN and its association with IBFAN.
MAPBIN was founded by the Port-Louis UNESCO Club of Action (PLUCA), under the leadership of Yousouf Jhugroo. The (late) Razia Ghanty-Jhugroo was the kingpin of the organisation which she painstakingly helped to develop and extend its services not only to Mauritius, but to the whole of Africa and to some extend to Asia-Pacific.
The MAPBIN journey started when Yousouf and Razia were both spearheading a research project assigned to a group of A Level students on the status of implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS) in Mauritius. The students were part of the educational programme “Help Them to Learn” initiated by PLUCA.
The students were using a modified version of the survey questionnaires developed by IBFAN (International Baby Food Action Network) to audit compliance with the Breastmilk Substitutes International Code by auditing retail outlets, health care facilities and interviewing health professionals and health workers in hospitals and private clinics.
The research findings were made public at a press conference and were widely covered by the national papers, radio and television.
Representatives of both UNICEF and WHO were keen to support the group in their work. Meetings were set up with Rodney Philips of UNICEF and (late) Sir Djameel Fareed of WHO. IBFAN invited MAPBIN to its first regional conference for Africa held in Swaziland. MAPBIN was officially launched and became part of IBFAN network.
In 1985, MAPBIN hosted the first training programme for health workers on Lactation Management and Counselling Techniques involving 40 trainees, including nurses and midwives. In addition to local trainers, IBFAN sponsored the participation of international trainers, including Dr Raj Anand (Paediatrician), Helen Armstrong (La Leche League International), Margaret Kyenkya, Annelies Allain and Dr Felicity King.
Ever since MAPBIN never stopped building on the momentum. Its campaigns about the multi-faceted benefits of breastfeeding successfully reached out to thousands of mothers and families at large.
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Yousouf Jhugroo is the co-founder of MAPBIN and CEO of CRC Group. Since 1983 till around 2012,he has relentless contributed towards the development and growth of the organisation and has actively been involved in establishing MAPBIN as a strong and well-respected organisation in and outside Mauritius.
In 1984 MAPBIN joined IBFAN and together held many training workshops for breastfeeding counsellors, nurses and midwives, with the support and participation of the Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF and the Women’s Affair Ministry. By 1989, over 70 health workers in the public sector and 50 volunteer breastfeeding counsellors had received formal training.
Yousouf along with Razia Jhugroo, initiated the opening of several breastfeeding clinics, Day Care Centres and Counselling Support Service Centres under MAPBIN around Mauritius.
Working with the media, Yousouf has greatly contributed to raise awareness on the non-compliance with the requirements of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. He has also participated in various international meetings, training and conferences on the Code surveillance and how its requirements could be incorporated in national legislations.
UNICEF appointed Yousouf as its Consultant to assist with the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in Africa, namely in Gabon, Republic of Congo and Burkina Faso. Availing the opportunity of his work in western Africa, Yousouf and IBFAN/GIFA (Geneva Infant Feeding Association), co-founded the setting up of IBFAN Afrique, and started the publication of “Courrier de L’IBFAN’, a specialised magazine in French focussing on breastfeeding and infant health.
As an active IBFAN participant in Africa, Yousouf has represented the organisation at the WHO Regional Assembly in Brazzaville and has helped in the WHO/UNICEF International Code monitoring and surveillance training in Africa and Asia.
Joyce needs little introduction as she is a well-known figure in Mauritius. She is the President of Les Mains Ouvertes, a local NGO specialising in the rehabilitation and reintegration of detainees within their families and society at large. Joyce deals with lots of challenging tasks on a daily basis to rebuild broken families and ensure the welfare of vulnerable children, relating especially to teenage pregnancies.
After a long career in the United Kingdom working for the NHS as a registered psychiatric nurse and subsequently seconded to work in the rehabilitation of alcoholic, community nursing and family support for detainees and their families, Joyce came back to her country of birth to put her skills, knowledge and experience at the service of her fellow countrymen, women and children. Since early 1980s Joyce has been promoting education in under-privileged areas where there was a great need to support children of detainees and drug addicts.
MAPBIN is privileged to welcome Joyce as the new front-runner who will be spearheading the organisation to new heights. MAPBIN has known glorious days when it was led under the late Razia Jhugroo-Ghanty, with whom Joyce was closely involved as a family member, a supporter and a good friend. Joyce is married to Mahmood Hamid Ghanty and is mother of three daughters and happy grandmother of four grand children.
Yasmin is not new to MAPBIN. She was one of our senior Breastfeeding Counsellors from 1987 and has remained ever since a valuable team member of the organisation.
Yasmin started her career in 1978 as a secondary education teacher. She taught Maths and PE at Loreto Convent of Curepipe for eight years.
In her own words Yasmin explains how she joined MAPBIN:
“After becoming mother of my first child, I decided to stop working to be able to breastfeed her completely… I heard a programme on radio on breastfeeding by Razia Jhugroo and contacted her. This is how my partnership with MAPBIN started”.
From that time onwards, that partnership developed into a solid commitment, a love, and a passion to serve. After obtaining her first formal training to become a BF Counsellor, Yasmin was sponsored by MAPBIN to an intensive UNICEF funded training on breastfeeding and infant nutrition at the Tropical Child Health Institute of London University in 1988.
Both Yasmin and late Razia attended the IBFAN’s Convention in the Philppines in October 1989 and were involved in a nation-wide programme of counselling and promotion campaign. They both held 1-2-1 and group counselling and participated in various media activities.
Besides her role as BF Counsellor, Yasmin had other important roles at MAPBIN. She was involved in the setting up of a specialised unit at MAPBIN to teach pre-natal exercises to pregnant women. She was also in charge of the publication of MAPBIN News.
Yasmin has also other interests: As a successful AVON sales representative, Yasmin was promoted to be part of the Unit Leaders’ team and she now manages the work of 60 sales reps. She was also a Scout Leader from 1999 to 2005 and in that capacity, she accompanied a delegation of Mauritian Scouts at the 1st Jamboree in Kenya in August 2000. She was in UK in August 2001 for a gathering of European Scouts.
As an executive member of SIM (Mauritius Islamic Society) since 2018, and part of its ladies’ wing WIM (Women Islamic Movement), Yasmin oversees a program of activities for primary and secondary school girls thrice a year during their holidays called “3 Jours de Reve” and holds a yearly Sports Day for girls and ladies.
Married to Sa’ad, Yasmin is the mother of 2 daughters and a son (3 happy breastfed babies) and a happy grandmother of 2. Her first born Sanaa, features on the cover of MAPBIN’s first information pack.