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Queen Elizabeth Hospital accredited as the first Baby-friendly Hospital in Hong Kong
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) has long been dedicated to promoting and supporting breastfeeding. With all these years’ efforts, our hospital was accredited by Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Hong Kong Association in May this year as the first-baby friendly hospital in Hong Kong. To mark this achievement, the hospital hosted a Baby-friendly Hospital Designation Ceremony today (August 27) to share its "baby-friendly" journey. 
     The Designation Ceremony held today was officiated by the Acting Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan; the Chairman of the Hospital Authority (HA), Professor John Leong; and the HA Chief Executive, Dr Leung Pak-yin. Healthcare staff from various public and private hospitals, representatives of patient groups and families supporting breastfeeding also attended the Ceremony.
     At the ceremony, Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Hong Kong Association presented the certificate and a plaque of Baby-friendly Hospital to HA and QEH management representatives. "QEH Breastfeeding Fun Day 2016" was also held today featuring game booths and exhibition of breastfeeding equipment.
     Delivering her speech at the ceremony, Professor Sophia Chan said she was delighted to bear witness to the accreditation to Hong Kong’s first Baby-friendly Hospital. Professor Chan noted that the Government at all times gave much effort to promote breastfeeding, which was one of the important public health measures. 

     "In collaboration with various parties, the percentage of breastfeeding in Hong Kong has been increasing over last two decades. The percentage of infants being breastfed before discharge was greatly increased from 19% to 86% in 1992 and 2014 respectively. The percentage of sustained breastfeeding is on the upward trend too," Professor Chan said.
     Professor John Leong congratulated QEH for its achievement. "This honour shows that QEH has attained the international standards in breastfeeding policies, measures and healthcare support. It is also a milestone of HA in promoting breastfeeding," Professor Leong remarked, and believed that QEH could take the lead in encouraging other hospitals.
     Chairman of Hospital Governing Committee of QEH, Dr Kam Pok-man, and Cluster Chief Executive of Kowloon Central Cluster / Hospital Chief Executive of QEH, Dr Albert Lo, expressed their heartfelt gratitude to front-line colleagues for their contribution. Currently, the breastfeeding rate in our obstetric wards is over 90%, while 85% of infants in paediatric wards are breastfed. It is an encouraging result indeed.
     "Baby-friendly Hospital" is a global mission initiated by World Health Organization and UNICEF. Hospital Authority has all along devoted to promoting breastfeeding. In 2010, QEH established the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative Steering Committee to facilitate breastfeeding, including formulating workplace policies and guiding principles. Committee members paid exchange visits to baby-friendly hospitals overseas to gain experience and knowledge. Foreign and local experts were invited to give lectures. Members of staff from various ranks have been trained and audits implemented for laying a solid foundation of accreditation.
     QEH kicked off the accreditation process in 2013. The hospital has enhanced antenatal education and launched breastfeeding classes to provide expectant mothers with relevant knowledge and counselling service. Other measures included continuous training for healthcare workers, improvement of breastfeeding facilities at hospital premises, and launch of a hospital webpage to let members of the public better understand breastfeeding. QEH also engages the community through talks and fun days.
     For more breastfeeding information, please feel free to browse the following website: http://www3.ha.org.hk/qeh/breastfeeding/main.html
Ends/Saturday, August 27, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:27
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