Top Stories / National
Friday, 30 Jun 2017 15:19 EATtkimani@kenyafreepress.com
The human milk bank is soon coming to Kenya. The first human milk bank in the country will be a place where women will donate milk for processing so that it can remove all the micro-organisms to make it safe for the baby, stored and finally distributed.
A mother’s milk time tested for years, is the best nutrient for babies because it is nature’s perfect food thus providing the baby with a healthy immune system, natural nutritional value and no stomach upsets.
The human milk bank essentially helps babies who can’t access mother’s milk at birth. That’s when the babies who for various reasons mom’s become sick soon after delivery and sometimes forced to be treated with certain drugs that may not be good for the baby. In other cases, mothers die during birth.
And with over 1.5 million babies born annually, 193 thousand pre-term babies are born before 37 weeks and 13 thousand will die due to complications in Kenya. Breasts milk is one way to prevent such deaths.
Kenya will follow South Africans footsteps. The only country in Africa with a milk bank. The initiative is set to save a baby’s life. The Kenyatta National Hospital nutritionists wait in so much anticipation for the milk bank. The largest referral hospital has a golden standard for the breast milk.
“Some may not be able to produce adequate milk and mothers end up being frustrated. If at all they will be an idea of having milk bank, this issue may be able to be resolved.” Said Judy cheruiyot, a nutritionist at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
There are however challenges facing the milk bank with fears that it is not safe in terms of such conditions that would be passed on through breasts milk like HIV/AIDS, virus or hepatitis B. But as long as it is well explained to them carefully and properly, such status would be established before anything like that happens.
A lot is taken into consideration concerning the human milk bank, but even in all health standards are taken into consideration, cultural believes remain a stumbling block. That withstanding, the milk bank researchers say the human milk bank is a cost saver fighting over sickness that would be costly to treat or buying expensive formula milk.
The World Health Organization recommends six months of breastfeeding unless doctor’s advice to supplement with formula.