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Rotary Club Chandigarh Lends Hand To Feed Premature Babies

India has one of the highest incidences of premature/preterm or low birth weight babies in the world, and the demand for donor breast milk far outstrips the supply through the not-for-profit human milk banks (HMBs) set up in government hospitals. Considering the scenario, an initiative by Dr BR Ambedkar State Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) Mohali with the help of Rotary Club Chandigarh in setting up a dedicated HMB on the AIMS campus is laudable.

On Thursday, Dr (Mrs) Bhavneet Bharti, Director Principal of AIMS Mohali signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Rtn Anil Chadda, President of Rotary Club Chandigarh, in this direction.

Rotary Club Chandigarh Lends Hand To Feed Premature Babies, Lifeinchd

Dr (Mrs) Bhavneet Bharti signing the MoU with Rotary Club Chandigarh President Anil Chadda in the presence of other doctors and Rotary members at AIMS Mohali on Thursday

Photo By: Life In Chandigarh

Out of a project cost of around Rs.1 crore, a substantial amount of Rs 31 lakh is being contributed by Rtn Subhash Garg from Yamunanagar, a philanthropist and past district governor of Rotary, to defray cost of plant and equipment for the project through Rotary Club Chandigarh.

At the MoU signing ceremony at AIMS Mohali, Dr Bhavneet informed a select gathering, comprising doctors from the hospital and Rotary members, that civil works had been completed and a dedicated block in the institute has already been readied. Various equipments are in the process of being procured and installed. All efforts are on to make the human milk bank functional within August this year, she added.

Emphasizing on the dire need for human milk, especially for the preterm babies (those born before 37 weeks of gestation, or weighing less than 2.5 kg), she said their nationwide numbers are believed to be 3.5 million every year. The number of HMBs in the country are  proving inadequate in meeting the current demand, hence the need for opening more such banks, she shared.

The milk for the bank is obtained from donor mothers through a voluntary effort without payment and later pasteurized and preserved under controlled conditions for up to 6 months. Likewise it is given at no cost to the needy.

The donors can be mothers attending well baby clinics, mothers whose babies are in neonatal intensive care units, those who have lost their babies but are willing to donate their milk, or lactating staff in the hospitals, and motivated hyper lactating mothers from the community at large.

It’s accepted worldwide that breastfeeding is the best method of infant feeding because human milk continues to be the only milk tailor-made and uniquely suited to the human infant. All mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed their infants.

However, when a mother, for some reason, is unable to feed her infant directly, her breast milk should be expressed and fed to the infant. If mother’s own milk is unavailable or insufficient, the next best option is to use pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM).

In India, the burden of low birth weight babies in various hospitals is estimated to be upwards of 20% with significant mortality and morbidities. Feeding these babies with pasteurized human milk can significantly reduce the risk of various infections.

Rotary Club of Chandigarh Credits

Rotary Club of Chandigarh, into its 65th year of existence, has to its credit setting up of Rotary PGI Serai, state-of-the-art Blood Bank in Sector 37, a Rotary Vocational Training Centre in Sector 18, International Dolls Museum in Sector 23, besides having done over 700 free heart surgeries of children, informed Rtn Pres. Anil Chadda.

 

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