Pumwani Hospital Receives First Human Milk Bank

By Virginia Mwangi / March 29, 2019




Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has touched the softest spot in Nairobi mothers and newborn children by opening a milk bank at East Africa’s largest maternity hospital, Pumwani.

Sonko is set to launch the largest, first of its kind, Human Milk Bank in East and Central Africa. The milk bank will have a pasteurizer that can hold 9.4 million liters, two fridges and four freezers with a 240-liter capacity.

A human milk bank or breast milk bank is a service which collects, screens, processes, and dispenses by prescription human milk donated by nursing mothers who are not biologically related to the recipient infant.

The milk, according to Nairobi county nutrition coordinator Esther Kwamboka, will be heated at 60.5 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes then suddenly cooled. It will then be packaged and stored and will be safe for use within 6 months.

“We will have a very good cold chain system during the storage to ensure as soon as the milk is out of the pasteurizer it goes straight to the fridges and freezers,” Kwamboka said.

The freezers will have temperature monitoring, within the freezers and in the room and a technical team will always be on standby to run the machines once in a while to ensure high safety standards.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that when a mother is not able to breastfeed her baby, donated human milk should be used.

Over 500 human milk banks have been established in 37 countries around the globe including South Africa, India, France, Japan, Brazil, and Canada.

Kenya which is ranked at 138, has 362 maternal deaths per 100,000 which although lower than the original 488/100,000 still accounts for 14 percent of deaths among women aged between 15 and 49 years old.

The mothers who die during delivery leave behind their babies, new to this World…hungry and without the ability to comprehend their situation. It is these bundles of joy whose hunger, thirst and immunity will be catered for by the newly launched Human Milk Bank.

It is the wish of every mother to hold and nurse their baby; situations at times do not allow this given a number of complications that could arise during or after childbirth.

I have had the privilege to intern at Pumwani maternity hospital and the news of a human milk bank at the facility reminds me of a special room that was marked ‘motherless’ on the door. The room contained newborn babies whose mothers had passed on during delivery.

Tiny, fragile and adorable they lay on the cots and waited for the Nan milk which would be given in a span of hours. They received a lot of love from the staff but nobody could love them as their mothers would have. It was an unspoken sadness that engulfed the room and the idea of the newborn babies lacking enough milk was scary.

A mother’s breast milk has always been said to be the best for the babies, unless in special medical conditions, and the newborn babies, whose mother’s passed away while delivering life, will have the opportunity to enjoy the same milk.

The case of mothers whose babies pass away a few days after delivery leaving them not only heartbroken but with engorged breasts full of milk, now have a reason to feel their burden eased. These mothers can now visit Pumwani Maternity Hospital, once the launched milk bank is ready to receive milk and make a difference in the lives of the newborn babies whose mothers are not in a position to breastfeed for various reasons such as critical health condition or demise.

Initially, newborn babies whose mothers have passed on or are in critical condition have had to rely on infant formula milk and those unable to foot the costly expense have had to do with adding water to packet milk.

Milk supply is different for every mother and while there are some with the average or limited flow, there are those whose flow is heavy and can fill up an average freezer where the milk can stay up to 6 months. Mothers whose milk flow is heavy can also donate to the Human Milk Banks.

Children who have to be left behind in hospital nurseries for conditions, such as jaundice, low birth weight or necrotizing enter colitis, can also be nursed with milk from the Human Milk Bank.

There are a number of foods lactating mothers are advised to eat to increase their milk flow, warm non-caffeine liquids and regular expressing of milk could easily improve the flow and enable on donating to the milk bank.





More Articles From This Author








Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE

ARCHIVES

2019
  • January 2019 (256)
  • February 2019 (216)
  • March 2019 (285)
  • April 2019 (254)
  • May 2019 (272)
  • June 2019 (252)
  • July 2019 (340)
  • August 2019 (227)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (219)
  • March 2018 (278)
  • April 2018 (225)
  • May 2018 (238)
  • June 2018 (178)
  • July 2018 (257)
  • August 2018 (249)
  • September 2018 (256)
  • October 2018 (287)
  • November 2018 (284)
  • December 2018 (187)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (195)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (205)
  • July 2017 (190)
  • August 2017 (195)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (165)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (190)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (246)
  • June 2016 (183)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (249)
  • September 2016 (234)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (166)
  • April 2015 (109)
  • May 2015 (117)
  • June 2015 (121)
  • July 2015 (150)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (189)
  • October 2015 (170)
  • November 2015 (174)
  • December 2015 (208)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950