Mother’s milk storage centre to be set up in Ajmer hospital | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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Mother’s milk storage centre to be set up in Ajmer hospital

The state government has set up the milk bank at 11 government hospitals with an aim to reduce neonatal and infant mortality rates, and eradicate malnutrition

jaipur Updated: May 12, 2017 20:33 IST
P Srinivasan
Containers of mother's milk in a freezer at a hospital. The milk ca be used for up to six months.
Containers of mother's milk in a freezer at a hospital. The milk ca be used for up to six months.(HT Photo)

A storage and distribution centre of Aanchal Mothers’ Milk Bank will be set up at Zenana Hospital in Ajmer, officials said.

The state government has set up the milk bank at 11 government hospitals with an aim to reduce neonatal and infant mortality rates, and eradicate malnutrition.

According to the Sample Registration Survey (SRS) 2012, the neonatal (first 28 days) mortality rate in in Rajasthan is 35 per 1000 live births, against national average of 29.

“To reduce neonatal mortality, the government has approved setting up of a milk bank centre in Ajmer, which will hopefully be operational by the end of this month,” said an official.

“Excess milk is collected at the 11 Aanchal Mothers’ Milk Banks in various districts; now the excess milk will be transported to the storage centre in Ajmer,” said Devendra Agarwal, adviser to the state health department for the mother milk bank project.

“The excess milk will be provided to newborns admitted to neonatal intensive care units (NICU) in Jawahar Lal Nehru hospital and other hospitals attached to JLN Medical College,” he told Hindustan Times on Friday.

Newborns and premature babies, whose mothers are not able to breastfeed them, will also be given milk from the storage centre.

Referring to studies, Agarwal said, “Out of 100 newborns that die in NICUs, 16 can be saved with mother’s milk; possibility of newborns’ survival increases by 16% and their recovery in NICUs becomes faster by 40%.”

Asked about plans to start such storage and distribution centres in other districts, he said, “It is an innovation, and if successful, it will be replicated in other government medical colleges.”

The storage and distribution centre will be built at Zenana Hospital with a cost of ₹3 lakh. The Rajasthan State Medical Services Corporation Limited will bear the centre’s maintenance and running cost.

“The corporation will also bear the cost of transportation of mothers’ milk from 11 Aanchal banks to this centre. Mothers’ milk will be provided free to the needy newborns,” Agarwal said.

“The government decision is praiseworthy and it will help save many newborns,” said Sanjay Sharma, a general manager of Save the Children, an NGO.

“22% of newborns’ deaths are because of two major reasons -- diarrhoea and pneumonia; these deaths can be avoided by giving mothers’ milk,” Sharma said.