Kerala to Open its First Human Milk Bank

Kerala will open its first Human Milk Bank (HMB) on February 5, 2021. This is a state-of-the-art facility, and Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja will open at Ernakulam General Hospital. A milk bank was established with the support of the Rotary Club of Cochin Global.

After the State Health Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Rotary Club of Cochin Global in 2020, its cost was 3.5 million rupees. The Association of Pediatricians (IAP) will provide trained nursing staff to operate the milk bank.

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About the Human Milk Bank: 

  • The breast milk bank will ensure that newborn babies who are not ill or deceased or who are not breastfed due to insufficient breast milk production can obtain breast milk.
  • Approximately 3,600 babies are born in general hospitals every year. Among them, 600 to 1,000 sick babies enter the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
  • However, due to the low weight of premature babies or babies separated from their mothers, mothers cannot adequately feed them.
  • Therefore, pasteurized breast milk from the milk bank will reduce the risk of infection and help strengthen its immunity.
  • The concept of this milk bank appeared in India 32 years ago, but Kerala has no milk bank until now.
  • Milk will be collected in accordance with all safety regulations and procedures, stored and provided to children in need in accordance with government guidelines.
  • The collected milk will be safely stored in the bank for 6 months. Initially, the milk will be provided free of charge to babies admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.
  • At a later stage, plans will be made to establish a hospital network for multiple collections and safe distribution points.
  • The milk will be donated by the delivery mother in the hospital. These mothers will get all health statistics in the hospital.
  • The human milk bank includes a pasteurization unit, deep freezer, refrigerator, disinfection equipment, reverse osmosis equipment and computer.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Kerala CM: Pinarayi Vijayan.
  • Kerala Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan.

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