News:Recently,Union Minister for Health and Family welfare has informed that Breast Milk Banks have been established under “National Guidelines on Establishment of Lactation Management Centres in Public Health Facilities”.
About Breast Milk Banks:Breast Milk Banks in India consists of:
- Comprehensive Lactation Management Centre:It is established for the purpose of collecting, screening, processing, storing and distributing donor human milk at Government Medical Colleges or District Hospitals with high delivery load and availability of newborn treatment units.
- Lactation Management Unit:It has a collection and storage facility of mother’s own milk in District Hospital/Sub-district Hospital with at least 12 beds.
- Lactation Support Units:These are established at all delivery points to provide breastfeeding support, lactation counselling and Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) support to mothers.
Importance of Breastfeeding:Breastfeeding is important because
- It prevents infections like diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections in early infancy and thus reduce infant mortality and
- It decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Initiatives by Indian Government:
- Government of India has launched a nationwide programme called MAA-Mothers Absolute Affection in 2016.
- The programme aims to bring undiluted focus on promotion of breastfeeding and provision of services towards supporting breastfeeding, along with ongoing efforts of routine health systems.
- The key components of the MAA programme are awareness generation, promotion of breastfeeding & inter personal counselling at community level, skilled support for breastfeeding at delivery points and monitoring and Award/ recognition of health facility.