In response to a press enquiry today (April 7) regarding a complaint against the prevailing arrangement of the management of Tai Lam Centre for Women (TLCW) for the feeding of infants of persons in custody (PICs) with milk formula, the reply of the Correctional Services Department (CSD) is as follows:
The CSD endeavours to provide a secure, safe, humane, decent and healthy environment for PICs. According to the laws of Hong Kong, the child of a female PIC may be received into prison with its mother until the mother has completed her sentence or such child has attained the age of 3 years, whichever is the earlier.
This morning, the CSD received a complaint against the management of TLCW for not arranging infants of PICs to be fed with milk formula from 4pm to midnight daily. In view of the seriousness of the allegation, which touches upon the treatment and health care of PICs and their infants, this Department paid utmost attention by appointing investigators of the Complaints Investigation Unit to interview the PIC concerned to follow up the complaint. In addition, in consultation with the Department of Health (DH), a Senior Medical Officer (SMO) familiar with the medical system of the CSD, in company with staff of Health Care Section of the CSD and a dietitian, was arranged to visit TLCW to conduct a physical examination of all the infants of PICs as well as to inspect the existing arrangement regarding the provision of milk formula to infants. All the infants were found to be in good health condition. On the spot, the healthcare staff again provided a health talk to all the PICs concerned to enrich their knowledge about taking care of infants.
TLCW has on its premises a hospital which provides round-the-clock basic healthcare by a Medical Officer seconded from the DH and correctional officers with nursing qualifications (Registered Nurse and Enrolled Nurse). At the moment, TLCW accommodates a total of five infants (aged from 4 weeks to 24 weeks) who were received into the institution with PICs. PICs may choose breast feed or feeding with milk formula. The CSD will provide the milk formula while the feeding time, intervals and quantity are subject to adjustment by the institutional healthcare staff with regard to the age and physique of the infants. As an on-going practice, mother PICs and their infants are arranged to attend the Maternal and Child Health Centres for follow-up, assessment and infant care education.
Ends/Thursday, April 7, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:14