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Compulsory 'creches' in the pipeline: Dr Saketa

Samantha Rina
Tuesday, June 07, 2011

PLANS are in the pipeline to make creches ù or day care centres ù compulsory in every workplace.

This was revealed by Health Ministry permanent secretary Doctor Sala Saketa who was the chief guest at an orientation workshop training on World Breastfeeding Trends initiative.

Dr Saketa said Fiji was presently leading the Pacific region in efforts to promote breastfeeding initiatives and their next step was to emphasise the importance of having creches at the workplace.

"We will focus first on the Government as the biggest employer," she said.

"Then eventually we hope to discuss this with the private sector too.

"Next month we will launch one of the first government creches at the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests."

The two-day training was attended by workers from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Fiji. It is an assessment tool for policies and programmes in place for infant feeding.

Dr Saketa said Fiji had made remarkable strides which was evident in the National Breastfeeding Policy where parents were encouraged to exclusively breastfeed their children for the first six months of life.

She said the ministry had also strived to support continuous breastfeeding until the child turned two years of age.

"We have also introduced supplementary feeding where we encourage the use of locally prepared foods instead of ready-made foods that are prepacked," she said.

Dr Saketa said the WBTi tool would further assist Fiji to monitor, evaluate and improve the present system.

"This training will provide participants knowledge and skills to assess the state of breastfeeding, complementary feeding practices in infants and young children, and develop appropriate actions based on the findings," she said.





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