Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kampong Thom official calls for breastfeeding rooms at work

Kampong Thom official calls for breastfeeding rooms at work

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The first breastfeeding rooms at Kampong Thom provincial hall and women’s affairs department opens on Tuesday. HELEN KELLER INTERNATIONAL

Kampong Thom official calls for breastfeeding rooms at work

A senior health official in Kampong Thom province called on all departments and workplaces to set up rooms for new mothers to continue breastfeeding upon their return to work. This would be in line with Cambodia’s commitment to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for infants to 85 per cent by 2030.

Keo Davin, deputy director of the provincial Department of Health, made the call at the March 29 inauguration of the first dedicated breastfeeding room at the provincial hall and Department of Women’s Affairs. The administration collaborated with the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development, Helen Keller International and German development agency GIZ’s MUSEFO Project.

“On behalf of the health department, I call on other departments and workplaces to consider establishing similar facilities to facilitate women resuming work to continue breastfeeding, in accordance with Articles 184 and 185 of the Labour Law,” she said.

At the ceremony, Chou Bunheang – deputy secretary-general of the Council for Agriculture and Rural Development and Rehabilitation – said that improving nutrition for infants and children is an inter-sectoral issue that requires participation from all parties. It demands practical investments in many areas, especially health, education and social protection.

He said the government saw the value of promoting best practice feeding of infants and children, as they are the nation’s future human capital – the basis of the national economy. Because of this, the government had used “breastfeeding” as the theme of two National Nutrition Days, in 2015 and 2019.

Speaking at the launch, Helen Keller International director Gwyneth Cotes said studies in other countries have found that projects that improve child feeding in factories and other workplaces provided a cost effective, practical solution to child nutrition issues.

These facilities also give women the opportunity to participate in important programmes such as nutrition and hygiene education, child rearing tips, diet and health advice, and labour law.

“I hope that lessons will be learned from this project, and that some adjustments in maternity leave will be considered. Lactation rooms are important in all workplaces so women can continue to breastfeed exclusively for six months, in accordance with the commitment of the government,” she said.

Sanne Sigh, GIZ’s MUSEFO Project representative, said: “One of the challenges for new mothers is that they have only three months of maternity leave, with only 50 percent of their salary being paid, which causes standard of living problems during and after childbirth.”

She said the these rooms would help women continue breastfeeding exclusively for six months and beyond. Breastfeeding is important for development and growth in the early stages of a child’s life, she added.

Sin Siphan, director of the province’s women’s affairs department, said that promoting breastfeeding in the workplace contributed to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs Five Year Strategic Plan “Neary Rattanak”.

The plan lists prevention and control of nutrition problems amongst its goals.

“Kampong Thom province has made a significant contribution to Cambodia’s commitment to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for infants and children from zero to six months by 85 per cent by 2030,” she said.

On the morning of March 4, the health ministry’s National Centre for Maternal and Child Health opened its own breastfeeding room.


  • Wing Bank opens new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004

    Wing Bank celebrates first anniversary as commercial bank with launch of brand-new branch. One year since officially launching with a commercial banking licence, Wing Bank on March 14 launched a new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004. The launch was presided over by

  • Girl from Stung Meanchey dump now college grad living in Australia

    After finishing her foundational studies at Trinity College and earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne in 2022, Ron Sophy, a girl who once lived at the Stung Meanchey garbage dump and scavenged for things to sell, is now working at a private

  • Ministry using ChatGPT AI to ‘ease workload’; Khmer version planned

    The Digital Government Committee is planning to make a Khmer language version of popular artificial intelligence (AI) technology ChatGPT available to the public in the near future, following extensive testing. On March 9, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications revealed that it has been using the

  • Wat Phnom hornbills attract tourists, locals

    Thanks to the arrival of a friendly flock of great hornbills, Hour Rithy, a former aviculturist – or raiser of birds – in Kratie province turned Phnom Penh tuk tuk driver, has seen a partial return to his former profession. He has become something of a guide

  • PM urges end to ‘baseless’ international Ream base accusations

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urges an end to “baseless” foreign accusations surrounding the development of the Kingdom’s Ream Naval Base, as the US has consistently suggested that the base is being expanded to accommodate a Chinese military presence. Hun Sen renewed his calls while

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to