State may soon start breast milk bank

State may soon start breast milk bank

Breast milk bank soon to be started in KarnatakaThe Government is seriously considering setting up the first breast milk bank, according to Minister for Women and Child Welfare P M Narendra Swamy.

A breast milk bank pasteurises and stores donated breast milk for sick and premature babies whose mothers cannot supply sufficient milk.

Speaking after hoisting the National Flag on the occasion of Independence Day here, he said Lokamanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in Mumbai and some centres in Gujarat have breast milk banks. “We have held talks with the specialists at Victoria and Vani Vilas Hospitals in Bangalore,” he added.

Lack of nutrition
More than 42 per cent of the children in the State have been suffering from lack of nutrition, he said adding that, by establishing the Bank, the Government wanted to help those children who are deprived of breast milk.

The Bank will be on the lines of blood and sperm banks. Already work was on regarding the procedures to be followed for collection, storage and distribution. There was a proposal to make payment for those donating breast milk, he disclosed.

According to sources, in India infant mortality rates are among the world's worst - 57 deaths per 1,000 live births - and infant deaths in the newborn's first month is a disquieting 43 per 1,000. Asia’s first human milk bank was set up at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in 1989.  Now, over 25 human milk banks are functioning in the country and most of them were located in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Step-motherly attitude
Alleging that the Centre was adopting step-motherly attitude towards the State, Narendra Swamy said that the Centre supplied 31 per cent of power to Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, whereas for Karnataka was getting only 12 per cent of     power. This is the reason behind irregular power supply in the State, he added.
DH News Service

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