Strengthening Breastmilk Banking
Making human milk banking a priority in South Africa (2015)
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Strengthening Human Milk Banking: A Global Implementation Framework (2013)
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Models of Milk Banking in South Africa (2011)
Breastmilk’s unique immunological and nutritional properties protect infants against infections and help ensure a healthy start in life. Human breastmilk is crucial for infants in resource-limited settings who are often exposed to pathogens through unsafe water or unhygienic conditions. When a mother’s milk is not available, whether she has died or has a health issue that makes breastfeeding impossible, human milk banking is a safe and effective alternative. Breastfeeding mothers donate their extra milk, which is pasteurized to make it safe, and then frozen until needed.
PATH is promoting milk banking globally, strengthening health services in specific countries like South Africa and India, and designing and advancing cost-saving technologies. Our mobile-phone app directs and monitors a simple heat-flash pasteurization process and transmits data to quality assurance supervisors. Using the system, infants in a number of neonatal intensive care wards in South Africa are fed donor milk—safely and affordably—and get second chances at healthy beginnings.