Green corridor transports 18 litres of mother’s milk to sick newborns in Rajasthan
It was for the first time that a green corridor, usually created for swift transportation of organs for transplantation, was created for transporting mother’s milk.india Updated: Jun 02, 2017 07:45 IST
A refrigerated van carrying 18 litres of mother’s milk travelled from Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district to Ajmer, covering 150 km in two hours. Lives of at least seven newborns at Zenana Hospital in Ajmer were dependant on this consignment.
On Thursday, the infants were fed the milk, donated by lactating mothers from across the state.
It normally takes four hours to reach Ajmer from Bhilwara.
It was for the first time that a green corridor, usually created for swift transportation of organs for transplantation, was created for transporting mother’s milk. The corridor was created on Wednesday.
“Traffic police was deployed to provide zero traffic interference to the milk van. Necessary clearance from toll plaza was taken to avoid delays. A police vehicle escorted the milk van. We monitored the transportation through GPS technology,” Additional collector, Bhilwara, Anandilal Vaishnav said.
A temperature of minus 20 degree Celsius was maintained inside the van.
Devendra Agarwal, adviser to the state health department for Aanchal, the mother’s milk bank project, said the government was serious about bringing down the neonatal mortality rate in the state. “Transporting mother’s milk to a new storage centre created at Zenana Hospital was a step towards it. We chose to transport milk from Bhilwara, which had surplus units,” Agarwal said.
The Bhilwara milk bank had stock of 1,503 units (one unit is 30ml) from where 600 units were transported to storage unit at Zenana Hospital. It has the capacity to stock another 100 units. The Rajasthan Medical Relief Society is bearing the cost of maintaining and running the unit that was inaugurated Thursday.
Officials said the facility will help bring down the mortality rate of newborns by 16 to 20 per cent.
“The mother’s milk is very essential for newborns as it improves their immunity and helps them fight the diseases, which they often acquire at the time of birth,” said Kanti Yadav, superintendent, Zenana Hospital.
Ajmer Development Authority (ADA) chairman Shiv Shankar Heda urged the health centres to identify mothers who were unable to breastfeed their newborns and help them.
A Sample Registration Survey 2012, states that the neonatal (first 28 days) mortality rate in India is 29 per 1,000 live births, while in Rajasthan the number is 35.
Of the total neonatal mortality, 22% deaths are due to diarrhoea and pneumonia, two diseases that can be prevented by feeding newborns mothers’ milk.
Agarwal said out of every 100 newborns who die in neonatal intensive care units, 16 can be saved with mother’s milk and possibility of survival of newborns in neonatal intensive care units increases by six times and recovery speeds up by 40%, studies have found.
In Rajasthan, over 3,500 mothers have donated milk to the 11 milk banks operating in the state.