J-K's maiden human milk bank to be ready in Jammu's govt hospital by year-end

The CLMC will help with better management of sick, underweight and premature newborn children, the official said.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.(File Photo | Express)

JAMMU: The first ever Comprehensive Lactation Management Centre (CLMC), commonly known as human milk bank, will be made operational at a government hospital here by the year-end, an official said on Monday.

The CLMC will help with better management of sick, underweight and premature newborn children, the official said.

The facility is being built at a cost of Rs 47.20 lakhs at the government maternity and child care hospital at Gandhi Nagar area of Jammu after the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare approved the project under National Health Mission last year.

"The space for the CLMC is identified at the third floor of the hospital and we received the funds last month, having a component for the Public Works Department for some construction work, equipment and machinery. There will be recruitment of manpower, including doctors, counsellors and managers to run the milk bank properly," Medical superintendent of the hospital Arun Sharma told PTI.

He said the standard operating procedure (SOP) is already laid by the government for smooth and successful functioning of the human milk bank which will be ready by the year-end.

The Gandhi Nagar hospital is already running a state-of-art 150 bedded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and taking the load of Sri Maharaja Gulab Singh (SMGS) maternity hospital.

SMGS and Gandhi Nagar are the only hospitals in Jammu division having advanced NICU facilities.

"The start of the human milk bank will help better manage new-born babies who remain ill or their mothers cannot breastfeed them due to illness, infection or some other problems," the doctor said, adding the requirement is mostly needed for sick, premature and low birth weight babies.

Out of Rs 47.20 lakhs sanctioned funds, Rs 30.59 lakhs would be utilised for equipment, furniture, supplies, consumables and maintenance cost for the establishment of the CLMC, while Rs 16.61 lakh is meant for the infrastructure.

Sharma said the milk bank will be run on voluntary donors like mothers having surplus milk or those who have lost their infants or undergone failed delivery.

"The milk will be collected, scientifically tested and pasteurised at the bank and fed to infants," he said.

Kanchan, a mother who has recently delivered a baby at the hospital, welcomed the setting up of the human milk bank and said such a facility will be highly beneficial for newborns whose mothers could not feed them at birth.

"There is no alternative to mother's milk," she said.

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