Human Milk Bank Opens At Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Medical College

To provide breast milk to newborns who cannot be nursed by their mothers, a national human milk bank was inaugurated on Tuesday by Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi.

Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’ is a human milk bank and lactation counselling centre that will collect, pasteurise, test and store milk donated by lactating mothers.

The bank has been set up in collaboration with the Norwegian government, Oslo University and Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI).

Union Health Secretary CK Mishra, while inaugurating the facility, said the bank would provide life-saving human milk to all newborns in and around Delhi.

“We launched Mothers Absolute Affection (MAA) programme to create awareness about breastfeeding, which is the most cost-effective way of enhancing a child’s immunity,” Mr Mishra was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India. 

He also thanked the frontline workers for the decline in rate of maternal and child mortality in India.

“Several efforts are underway through National Health Mission to improve affordability, quality and access to healthcare services,” he said.

The human milk bank will not just promote breastfeeding but also be a demonstration site for other milk banks for teaching and training purpose. 

Neo-natal mortality is defined as death during the first 28 days of life and India reports the highest numbers in the world. As many as 7,00,000 newborns die in India each year – 29 per 1,000 births.

This accounts for 26 per cent of neo-natal deaths in the world, according to UNICEF.

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