BENGALURU: To cater to the needs of newborns who cannot be fed by their mothers, the Karnataka government set up ‘Human Milk Banks’ at four district headquarters -- Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru and Belagavi -- on Tuesday, coinciding with International Women’s Day.
Inaugurating the ‘Amruthadhare Human Milk Bank’ and high-risk pregnancy building in the premises of Vani Vilas Hospital, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said Karnataka’s Infant Mortality Rate is 21 in 1,000, and needs to be brought down by 2030. He said breast milk will help save many lives.
“Breast milk is an elixir for kids. No child should be deprived of mother’s milk. Unfortunately, a few children are unable to get breast milk due to various reasons like illness or death of the mother, premature delivery etc. This breast milk bank will be a boon and save many infants,” Dr Sudhakar said. Till date, the facility was available only at private hospitals. Sudhakar appealed to mothers to come forward to donate breast milk.
Dr CN Reddy, professor of pediatrics, Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College Hospital, said a human milk bank like this, especially at Vani Vilas, is very important. “Mother’s milk contains protein, saline, saturated fat, and increases immunity. Breast milk will be collected from donor mothers using proper equipment, it will pasteurised and frozen. It could be stored for six months,” he explained.
He says this milk can be useful for working mothers, pre-term babies and low birthweight babies. Donors will be mothers from the hospital, and milk will be provided free to sick and pre-term babies. Till now, 27 litres of breast milk has been collected, and 21 litres has already been given to 90 children, he stated.