Guwahati Sets Up Northeast's First Human Milk Bank

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Human milk bank at Guwahati’s Satribari Christian Hospital Photo Credit: Hindustan Times)

The first of its kind in the North East established its first human milk bank in Guwahati on Wednesday to store pasteurized breast milk. The initiative serves to the nutritional needs of premature or low-weight new born babies at free of coast.

“Breast milk is the best food for new-born babies. To bring down cases of neonatal mortality and mortality below 5 years of age, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, starting within the first hour of birth is recommended,” said Dr Devajit Sarma, pediatric and neonatal care specialist at SCH & a former President of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, Guwahati unit.

“The need for sufficient breast milk to provide adequate nutritional support to the babies or the premature babies or the children especially those with low birth weight is palpable in the north-eastern region,” he pointed out.

The milk bank has been formed with the help from Rotary Club at Satribari Christian Hospital. The bank which is the 15th such unit in India, is capable of storing milk for up to 6 years to curb the growing neo natal mortality rate.

In India, we have the cult of wet-nursing prevalent & experts certainly do not possess a high opinion about it as it can cause infection & transmit diseases to the child.

“We have over 100 deliveries in our hospital per month and can collect milk from some of those mothers. We will also encourage other lactating mothers to donate to the bank. In coming days, we might even include some incentives for the donors,” Devajit further said to encourage the donors.

In most of the cases, arranging milk for babies becomes a challenging task due to the health issues of the mother. Hence, going for pasteurized donor milk from the Bank seems a decent option.

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