31 July 2010, Hong Kong – More than 1,000 mothers participated in “Hong Kong Breastfeeding Action Day” organised by the Department of Health, Hospital Authority and UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Hong Kong Association (BFHIHKA) to create a Hong Kong record. Ms Sophia Kao Ching-chi, JP, Chairperson of Women’s Commission, Dr Shirley Leung, Principal Medical Officer of Family Health Service, Department of Health, and Dr Liu Hing-wing, Deputizing Director (Quality and Safety) of Hospital Authoritykicked off the event at Quarry Bay Community Hall this morning. Mrs Yau Chan Hoi-yan, News Editor, News and Business Information, now TV was present to share her breastfeeding experience. The guests took a group photo with all the participating mothersat the Hallto record the important moment. The press conference for the World Breastfeeding Week 2010 was held afterwards.
This year’s theme: “Breastfeeding ~ Just 10 Steps! The Baby-Friendly Way”, commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Innocenti Declaration that called for implementation of the Ten Steps to exclusive breastfeeding in all maternity facilities, which also aims to revitalise activities within health systems, and among healthcare providers and communities to support women to achieve their breastfeeding intentions. Near a thousand mothers participated in the “Hong Kong Breastfeeding Action Day”. The function was held atQuarry Bay Community Hall, all Obstetric and Paediatric Units of the Hospital Authority, participating maternity units in private hospitals, and two Maternal and Child Health Centres in Lek Yuen and West Kowloon. Mothers also pledged to breastfeed at home / workplace at the same time today.
Ms. Sophia Kao, JP, called for more baby care rooms to support breastfeeding mothers. She urged for more consideration of mothers’ needs when designing the room. The “Gender mainstreaming” principle should be incorporated in the design of the room. For example, using a neutral figure instead of a female figure for the signage of the baby care room, so that the husband can help out his wife to take care of the baby in the room. No lock should be installed on doors of the breastfeeding area inside the baby care rooms so mothers would not be disturbed during breastfeeding to open the doors for other mothers to enter the room. Instead, a signage which states“Breastfeeding area for women only” can be placed outside the door of the breastfeeding area.
Ms Sylvia Fung, Chief Manager (Nursing) and Co-chairperson, Hospital Authority Steering Committee on Breastfeeding pointed out that the Hospital Authority (HA) stopped accepting free infant milk formulae from suppliers since the first of April this year. Moreover, marketing and promotion of infant milk formulae is prohibited in its hospitals. HA is also developing measures to improve the breastfeeding environment for mothers, allowing its hospitals to be eligible for accreditation as baby-friendly hospitals.
Dr. Patricia Ip, Chairman of BFHIHKA, reported a 1.5% rise in the breastfeeding rate on discharge from hospitals with maternity units in Hong Kong to 75.4% for births in 2009 through her annual World Breastfeeding Week survey. The same survey found that less than 1%of obstetric doctors and 7% of paediatric doctors have received formal training on breastfeeding as prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The corresponding figures for obstetric and paediatric nurses were 64% and 17%, dropping 9% and 25% respectively from last year’s. (In 2009, the corresponding figures for obstetric and paediatric nurses were 73% and 42%.)
Dr. Ip continued: “Inadequate training of medical and nursing professionals remains to be the key issue of breastfeeding in Hong Kong. Only very few doctors, including both obstetric and paediatric, are trained. The situation is worsen by the turnover of doctors and nurses.I hope the ‘Ten Steps’ are promoted to all healthcare workers and are fully implemented.”
“The Department of Health is in the process of developing a multi-media e-learning education kit for pregnant and breastfeeding women,obstetricians, paediatricans and family physicians. It aims to equip doctors with necessary knowledge and skills in supporting breastfeeding mothers and managing lactating problems,” said Dr. Rachel Cheng, Senior Medical Officer, Family Health Service. “In addition, the Department has set up a multidisciplinary Taskforce in June 2010 to develop and promote the Hong Kong Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. The process will involve all key stakeholders in the community. ”
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Photos of the function can be downloaded from this link: http://www.unicef.org.hk/photorelease/wbw/pc731.zip
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Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Hong Kong Association
|Ms. Polly Cheng||Project Officer||Tel: 9874 0558/ 2591 0782|
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About Family Health Service, Department of Health
The Family Health Service provides a comprehensive range of health promotion and disease prevention services for children from birth to 5 years and women at or below 64 years of age. These services are provided by a dedicated team of medical & nursing professionals and supporting staff, through a network of 31 Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHCs) and 3 Woman Health Centres (WHCs).
About Hospital Authority
The Hospital Authority is a statutory body established under the Hospital Authority Ordinance in 1990. We have been responsible for managing Hong Kong’s public hospitals and their services to our community since December 1991. We are accountable to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government through the Secretary for Food and Health, who also formulates health policies and monitors our performance. At present, we manage 41 hospitals and institutions, 48 Specialist Out-patient Clinics (SOPCs), and 74 General Out-patient Clinics (GOPCs). Between them, they provide 27,100 beds, or about 4 beds for every 1,000 members of the public.
The Hospital Authority is a “people-first” organisation. Our work is guided by our Vision, Mission, and Values, and our primary objectives are to help our community stay healthy and to contribute towards the fulfillment of the Hong Kong SAR Government’s policy that “no one should be prevented, through lack of means, from obtaining adequate medical treatment”. We do this by ensuring that all members of the community have access to comprehensive, affordable, highly professional and people-centred preventative, curative and rehabilitation healthcare services if they need them.
UNICEF is on the ground in 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
About Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Hong Kong Association
In 1992, the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF formed the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Committee in order to promote and support breastfeeding in Hong Kong. This Committee has been organizing activities for the World Breastfeeding Week in Hong Kong. With the increasing support given by local maternity hospitals and health centres, the Committee was registered as the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Hong Kong Association in June 1994 aimed at promoting breastfeeding and protecting infant health.
We are committed to creating a healthcare environment that enables mothers, families and other caregivers to make informed decisions about optimal infant feeding.