Nairobi to launch Human Milk Bank at Pumwani Maternity

A mother breastfeeding her baby./COURTESY

Nairobi, KENYA: Nairobi County is set to launch a Human Milk Bank, HMB, at Pumwani Maternity Hospital.

The state-of-the-art public Human Milk Bank will be the first of its kind in the East African region.

The UK government has committed sh.66,550,000 to fund the HMB which will help lactating mothers who cannot produce enough milk and also help feed infants without mothers to allow optimum nutrition.

HMB is a service which collects, screens, processes, and dispenses by prescription human milk donated by nursing mothers who are not biologically related to the recipient infant.

British High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, said they are looking forward to launch the project, being funded through the Mother-Baby Friendly Initiative Plus (MBFI+), together with the Nairobi County government, in early April this year.

“Once operational, the milk bank will help save the lives of the vulnerable babies such as those who are premature, orphaned or abandoned, through the nutrition benefit of human milk,” said Hailey.

In a letter dated March 12, 2019, sent to Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, Hailey said they have procured and delivered equipment, including pasteurizer, trained and oriented the hospital technical team on milk bank operations and conducted a learning exchange to Scotland to enable the technical team learn about quality assurance systems and outreach programs.

“We have also stablished a technical working group at both national and county level to provide oversight and ensure adherence to quality and standard and developed guidelines and tools to support operations of the milk bank,” said the British High Commissioner.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko expressed confidence that the project will help improve maternal health care in the County.