First Human Milk Bank in Kerala:
Kerala is going to open its first Human Milk Bank (HMB) on February 5, 2021.
The milk bank will ensure the availability of breast milk for new-born babies who are not breastfed by their own mothers who are sick or deceased or due to insufficient production of breast milk. The milk will be collected by following all the safety protocols and procedures and it will be preserved and provide it to needy children as per government guidelines.
- This is a state-of-art facility that will be opened at the Ernakulam general hospital by the Health Minister of Kerala, KK Shailaja.
- The milk bank is being set up with the support of the Rotary Club of Cochin Global.
- Approximately 3600 babies are born in the general hospital a year
- Among them, 600 to 1,000 sick babies are admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
- But mothers are unable to feed them sufficiently because of the low birth-weight or premature babies or babies separated from mothers.
- Thus, the pasteurized breast milk from the milk bank will reduce the risk of infections and help in boosting their immunity.
- This concept of milk bank had come to India 32 years back but Kerala did not have a milk bank until now.
- The collected milk will be stored for 6 months safely in the bank.
- The milk will be provided free of cost initially to those babies who are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.
- At the later stage, a network of hospitals will be planned for multiple collections and safe distribution points.
- The milk will be donated by the mothers from the hospital who have delivered babies.
- These mothers will have all their health statistics available at the hospital.