By Ronald Kabuye
In abide to adequately feed premature babies (babies born too soon), Ministry of health will on 24th November launch a breast milk bank at Nsambya hospital.
This has been revealed by the commissioner in charge of maternal Child and reproductive health at the ministry Dr. Nsungwa Sabitti.
Dr. Nsungwa says many mothers who deliver preterm babies are not able to produce milk to feed them due to stress and other factors yet the baby’s intestine system can not handle other types of rough milk and foods.
“breast milk is the safest food which doesn’t injure the baby and it has immune components that prevent the baby from catching infections.
We have decided that mothers who can’t produce milk for their preterm babies benefit from those with excess breast milk who will donate in our breast milk bank” said Dr. Nsungwa
The establishment of these banks will start with hospitals and in the future, they will go in for outreach programs in communities in order to collect breast milk and packing it.
Dr Nsungwa further says this system has been in place though informally before giving an example of a six month old Sonko who was abandoned at Nsambya hospital but all through has depended on other mothers’ milk .
Commenting on how they intend to convince mothers to donate breast milk and the community to embrace the idea, Dr. Nsungwa said its going to be an appeal task, immense sensitization and training of mothers, donors, health worker and communities in addition to giving incentives to mothers who will donate the milk.
In Uganda, preterm born death contribute 42% of the death of children below age of 5 years. While approximately 108,000 children are born prematurely every year out of which 11,700 newborns die due to complications of premature. Up to 75% of these deaths in newborns are preventable with affordable solutions.