Kenya innovates, develops its first breast milk bank.
As part of efforts to help infants whose mothers couldn’t feed them, five mothers in Kenya had gathered in a bright blue room at the largest maternity hospital in Kenya to pump breast milk.
This breast milk will be enjoyed by other infants and not their own newborns with the aim of helping other mothers with a deficiency in this regard.
The breast milk bank is the first in Kenya and this Antibody-rich milk helps premature and sick babies get better faster while the American Academy of Pediatrics says even though infants enjoy most from their own mother’s milk, study also shows that if milk from donors are carefully collected and treated, they would turn out as another good option.
The Ministry of Health and African Population and Health Research Centre puts up Kenya’s first breast milk bank at Nairobi’s Pumwani maternity hospital with the expectation that if the program turns out successful would be replicated across the country to help more mother, says Elizabeth Kimani-Murage of the Research Centre.
The Unit Head Nurse, Faith Njeru said a total of 75 infants had been recorded to have benefited from the milk bank from about 400 donors across Kenya. Their mothers were either not present, ill, unable to lactate or have substance abuse issues.
She further explained that she and her team had to make people comfortable with the conceptualization of breast-milk donation which exists in other countries like South Africa, Mozambique, and Cape Verde. Here, this is first.
According to a mother, Evelyn Wawira felt the idea was strange and wondered how safe it would be for another child. But after gaining the necessary understanding during her second pregnancy applauded the idea.
“They’re just babies!” she said over the whirr of the unit’s electrical breast pumps. “It’s not their fault they don’t have milk … As long as the baby can have it and it will save his life, why not?”
With this Innovation, Kenya hopes to save more babies in the future to come.