MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Human Milk Bank (QCHMB) saved 165 infants from malnutrition and other health complications through 90 liters of breast milk collected as of July this year.
The “mother- and baby-friendly” city opened its first human milk bank back in April 2015.
The aim of the project is to share breast milk to mothers with premature or undernourished babies, as part of the city’s policy on child and maternal health.
Beneficiaries include infants suffering from malabsorption, feeding intolerance, congenital anomalies, immunologic deficiencies, and post-operative surgical conditions.
Aside from direct donations, the Quezon City government now uses motorcycles to pick up and deliver breast milk from lactating mothers to the QCHMB.
The QCHMB is located at the Quezon City General Hospital, where milk-letting activities are being held.
The QC Human Milk Bank Ordinance was filed by 5th District Councilor Julienne Medalla in 2012. Mayor Herbert Bautista only signed the ordinance after 3 years.
The Makati city government was the first local government unit to open a human milk bank in 2013. Quezon City came second in 2015. (READ: Got milk? Makati says yes)
Importance of breast milk
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast milk does wonders for the health of a child, especially during the first 6 months.
In the Philippines, only 34% of infants under 6 months are exclusively breastfed and only 34% continue to be breastfed until two years old. (READ: What’s keeping the Philippines from exclusive breastfeeding?)
Mothers choose to use milk formulas due to various reasons such as time constraints and inability to produce breast milk.
According to studies, malnutrition in the Philippines can be partly attributed to the breastfeeding situation in the country.
Help goes a long way
The National Government Center (NGC) lying-in clinic at the MRB Compound in Pilot Drive, Barangay Commonwealth, is the latest facility designated as a milk-letting station, aside from the other 7 lying-ins where mothers can donate their milk.
- San Francisco Lying-In
San Vicente Street corner Padilla Street
- Batasan Hills Lying-In
IBP Road corner Commonwealth Avenue
- Betty Go-Belmonte Lying-In
Artillery Road, Garcia Heights, Barangay Holy Spirit
- Murphy Lying-In
18th Avenue, Barangay San Roque
- Kamuning Lying-in
19 T Gener Street corner K 5th Street, Barangay Kamuning
- Arsenia Maximo Lying-In
Quirino Highway, Barangay Novaliches Proper
- Sta Lucia Lying-In
Barangay Sta Lucia Plaza, beside Barangay Hall
As of now, there are 600 active members of breastfeeding support groups in 65 health centers.
There are also other milk banks all over the country. Donations are highly appreciated. – Rappler.com