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Hong Kong, 9 December 2019 –The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) announced today that the Say Yes To Breastfeeding campaign (Say Yes) receives support from the hotel industry for the first time. This latest addition means that a total of 178 premises support breastfeeding. In addition, an increasing number of enterprises in Hong Kong have pledged to support ‘Say Yes’ as well. There are a total of 653 breastfeeding friendly workplaces. UNICEF HK have been promoting and supporting breastfeeding in Hong Kong. With the help from different sectors, we encourage more mothers start and keep on breastfeeding. Last year, the breastfeeding friendly premises were used more than 100 thousand times. With the support about ‘Say Yes’ from the government and business sector, including restaurants, retailers and new supporters from the hotel industry, UNICEF HK hope that breastfeeding mothers and families will respond to the ‘Say Yes’ campaign, and bode well for the development of a breastfeeding-friendly community.
UNICEF HK Chairman Ms Judy Chen said, “UNICEF has been calling on mothers to exclusively breastfeed their infants from birth to 6 months old, but in Hong Kong only a quarter of babies are breastfed exclusively. The number is way below the worldwide average of 42 per cent. Therefore, it is of great importance to Hong Kong for UNICEF HK to work with different sectors to promote breastfeeding.”
Prof Sophia Chan, the Secretary for Food and Health of the HKSARG, recognizes UNICEF HK’s work. “For a long time, the Food and Health Bureau and the Department of Health share similar views with UNICEF on promoting breastfeeding. UNICEF HK has been promoting breastfeeding with much effort and has designed many different campaigns to make breastfeeding widely recognized in society,” she said.
To further enhance support in the community, this year UNICEF HK has extended ‘Say Yes’ to the hotel industry. Twenty-three 4-star to 6-star hotels have pledged to provide individual breastfeeding rooms, breastfeeding space and breastmilk storage services to meet the needs of breastfeeding mothers and their families. All over Hong Kong, 178 premises have already joined ‘Say Yes’, including 26 large-scale shopping malls, making it even more convenient for mothers to breastfeed their babies anytime.
Apart from public places, workplaces are also an important element in cultivating a breastfeeding-friendly community. At the moment, UNICEF HK has awarded certificates to 195 organizations which have implemented measures to make the workplace breastfeeding friendly. This covers a total of 653 workplaces, and we hope that on returning to their workplaces, corporates can encourage these mothers to continue breastfeeding.
UNICEF HK Chief Executive Mr Lambert Chan noted, “We appreciate that the government has been supporting the ‘Say Yes’ Campaign since its beginning and acknowledge us as the ‘most powerful partner’ in promoting breastfeeding. We are also honored to receive the full support of the Hong Kong Hotels Association. It is because of their joint efforts with us in the past six months to seek for support to ‘Say Yes’ in the industry, which has brought the significant participation of the hotel industry and such a successful step forward.
UNICEF HK has also given out Gold Labels and Blue Labels to ‘Say Yes’ premises. These symbols denote the provision of individual breastfeeding rooms and breastfeeding space, respectively. Also, a breastmilk storage service label will be displayed if premises provide refrigerators for storage of breastmilk. This latest imitative will help breastfeeding mothers and their companions to easily identify breastfeeding friendly premises. Also, we hope that it will lead to more corporates and organizations joining ‘Say Yes’ and standing with breastfeeding mothers.
The ability to breastfeed in a public place helps breastfeeding mothers to immediately respond to the needs of their children. According to a Department of Health survey, 60 per cent and 30 per cent of surveyed mothers had breastfed their children in large-scale shopping malls and restaurants, respectively. This suggested that there’s a strong demand for mothers to breastfeed in those places. In the other word, it’ll be a win-win situation if malls and restaurants can provide more supportive measures for breastfeeding mothers. Also, there are priority seats for breastfeeding mothers on First Ferry vessels. The Airport Authority has also said yes by providing 39 fully equipped nursing rooms. UNICEF HK hope that it will lead to more corporates and organizations joining ‘Say Yes’ in the coming year.
Say Yes To Breastfeeding Acknowledgement Ceremony 2019/2020
New pledged list of ‘Breastfeeding Friendly Premises’