TACLOBAN CITY-The first ever Human Milk Bank for Visayas was installed on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in this city.
Costing an approximate P9 million, the equipment that preserve the human milk is a lone donation of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in its aim to help the people in the region promote exclusive breastfeeding and prevent disease and mortality among babies and infants.
As Chief of EVRMC, Dr. Salvador Evardone, expressed his overwhelming joy during the inauguration program, because according to him, this is another health program which the region’s medical center can give service to the people with excellence.
Asked why EVRMC was chosen among other big hospitals in Eastern Visayas, Dr. Wigdan Marani, UNICEF’s representative and chief for health and nutrition said, that after super typhoon “Yolanda,” they saw how EVRMC responded to the traumatized victims of the disaster, children in particular.
“We were witnesses of babies and infants in need of medical attention and nutritional intervention. We knew then they could not be fed properly of their mothers’ milk because of the trauma the parents themselves manifested from the enormous disaster,” Dr. Marani shared.
“In an area that is prone to disaster, there could be a high incidence of infant mortality, thus UNICEF pours medical and nutritional assistance for the people in Tacloban in particular, being the most “Yolanda” devastated area,” Marani added.
She also appealed to lactating mothers to donate their milk to help save the lives of babies requiring the world’s best milk.
The Human Milk Bank is capable to store the human milk in a week time, after it has undergone the process from expressing to pasteurizing to thawing etc.
It is made available to babies needing to be fed with the human milk as prescribed by a doctor.
“Breastfeeding mothers have only to include any soup of their taste in their diet to produce the milk, so there wouldn’t be any problem in producing it, as other mothers assert they don’t have,” said Dr. Nelita Salinas, EVRMC’s chairman of Pediatrics Department, “and since the milk is donated, it shall be given free, except for the pasteurizing cost of P220 per 100ml,” Dr. Salinas further informed. (AENicart/PIA-8)