What you need to know:
- Del Monte Kenya has launched a breastfeeding station for its female employees.
- The station equipped with hand washing tools, cooling facilities, electrical outlets for breast pumps, tables and comfortable seats, has the capacity of accommodating 20 mothers at any given time.
Thika-based juice maker Del Monte Kenya has launched a breastfeeding station for its female employees.
The company Managing Director Stergios Gkaliamoutsas while speaking during the launch said the station has the capacity of accommodating 20 mothers at any given time.
He added that there are currently 63 lactating mothers and another 40 women who are expectant, in the organisation, all of who will benefit from the facility.
The station is equipped with hand washing tools, cooling facilities, electrical outlets for breast pumps, tables and comfortable seats.
The company will also offer breastfeeding classes to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers on the importance of proper and exclusive breastfeeding.
“We believe this training will not only enhance proper utilization of this facility, but also increase productivity at the workplace,” he said.
Mr Gkaliamoutsas said the company is committed to ensuring women empowerment with 45 per cent of the 6,500 employees being women. He added that 20 per cent of women in the organisation are in senior management level.
“We believe the productivity of the company depends on the employees’ wellbeing. It is our hope that the utilization of the facility will help increase productivity,” he noted.
Dr Joseph Mbai Murang’a County Executive member in-charge of Health and Sanitation commended the company for the new facility noting that it will help the devolved unit to drastically reduce its disease burden since babies’ immunities will now be well established through exclusive breastfeeding.
“I encourage other companies in Murang’a County to set up similar facilities in their workplaces,” he said
Ms Esther Kihoria, a lactating mother at Del Monte Kenya is excited about the station.
“The new facility shows that the company has family-friendly policies, which are key in giving the employees’ morale and increasing their productivity,” said Ms Kihoria.
Ms Gloria Ndekei, Trustee and Advisor of Kepsa Foundation, commended the company for the new facility and appealed to companies yet to set up breastfeeding centres as dictated by law, to do so.
“Companies do not have to have a lot of money to set up breastfeeding centres. In fact, it is a one off investment that will bring back returns through increased productivity,” said Ms Ndekei.
Ms Ndekei noted that with such a facility, employers’ insurance costs are set to go down drastically as the level of sickness in the babies also goes down.
The launch of the station aligns with the Breastfeeding Mothers Act, 2017, that mandates Kenyan employers to set up breastfeeding stations and offer breastfeeding breaks at workplaces.
The Act, the work of Murang’a Woman MP Sabina Chege, requires that any organisation that has more than 30 employees must have a breastfeeding station.