The first human milk bank (HMB) in the city was inaugurated in the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital on Sunday. The hospital has received help from the Rotary Club of Mumbai Nariman Point, in setting up this unique bank.
With the inauguration, the total number of such banks in the country has gone up to eight. The district governor of Rotary Club of Mumbai and Thane, Jayant Kulkarni, inaugurated the bank.
The paediatrician of the hospital, Dr Rajan Joshi, who headed the project said such a bank is an important requirement, especially because many mothers are helpless as their newborn babies cannot be breast-fed due to various problems when the babies are in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The lactating mothers who are willing to donate milk, will have to visit the hospital. After a thorough screening, the milk will be collected using a suction pump and then pooled and pasteurised before storing it
The donors are tested for certain illnesses like HIV, hepatitis and others before collecting the milk.
At present, the milk from the bank would be meant for mothers admitted in that hospital. But if there are enough donors, the bank will be made open to other hospitals too.
The medical director of the hospital, Dr Dhananjay Kelkar, said, “Since we work for the country, this unit of HMB has been important to each one of us as this would help us serve the country better.’’
Deepak Dave, who was instrumental in setting up all eight such banks in the country, was also present.
Dave advocated the need of HMBs and said “There is a need of white revolution to increase the collection and storage of human milk for use in the NICUs of various hospitals. Such milk can save many lives of newborn babies. The human milk whose life is just about six hours at room temperature can be stored for one year if kept in deep freezer by treating it properly,’’ he added.
The president of Rotary Club of Mumbai Nariman Point, Vipul Shah, said, “This is the best example of the theme of Rotary International ‘Building Communities — Bridging Continents’ where we want to create a mother child community.’’