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Healthcare enters new chapter

Chief Executive Carrie Lam today said primary healthcare development has entered a new chapter under the efforts of the current-term Government.   Mrs Lam made the statement at the District Health Centre - New Journey in Primary Healthcare Ceremony, noting that she advocated in her first Policy Address in 2017 the setting up of District Health Centres (DHCs) that are operated in a brand new mode with a view to enhancing public awareness on preventive healthcare and personal health management through community networks.   To date, DHCs or DHC Expresses have started service in 14 districts. The DHCs will be extended to cover the remaining four districts of Wong Tai Sin, Yuen Long, Southern District and Tsuen Wan, in the next few months.   Mrs Lam noted that upon their presence in all 18 districts within this year, the DHCs and DHC Expresses will serve as the important hardware for promoting the collaboration of primary healthcare services.   She also pointed out that the Food &am

HK urged to support breastfeeding

Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan today appealed for cross-sectoral collaboration in promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding to mark World Breastfeeding Week 2021.   To support breastfeeding in Hong Kong, the Government has enacted laws including the extension of statutory paternity leave to five days, extension of statutory maternity leave from 10 to 14 weeks, and amendments to the Sex Discrimination Ordinance which prohibits discrimination and harassment towards breastfeeding women.   The Department of Health also began procedures in March this year to pursue the designation of five more Maternal & Child Health Centres to support and facilitate breastfeeding.   The "Breastfeeding GPS" mobile app, which contains the latest information of over 430 baby care rooms to help parents locate breastfeeding facilities all over Hong Kong was launched in September last year.   The Government has also been promoting and supporting breastfeeding through healthcare institutions, healthcare professionals, property developers, employers, family members, community organisations and traders in the formula milk industry.   The Hong Kong Code of Marketing of Formula Milk & Related Products, and Food Products for Infants & Young Children was launched in 2017 to promote good marketing practices for formula milk and related products as well as food products for infants and children aged below 36 months.   To monitor the trend and implementation of the code, a study was commissioned by the department in 2019 on the marketing of formula milk for infants and young children, and the findings revealed that media advertisements which specifically promote formula milk targeting children under 36 months decreased significantly to 8.6% from 45% of the total number of advertisements in a similar study conducted in 2016.   Similarly, advertising expenditure on formula milk products for infants and children in Hong Kong dropped from $3.1 billion in 2015 to $2.1 billion in 2019, while ads targeting children under 36 months plunged from 93.5% in 2015 to 9.5% in 2019.   Prof Chan said the Government will continue to solicit the trade's support to comply with the code, which aims to protect breastfeeding and advocate the proper use of formula milk for infants and young children, and to formulate marketing practices in line with it.   Held annually in the first week of August, this year's World Breastfeeding Week theme is "Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility".   Visit the designated webpage for more details.
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