Rotary Club of Guwahati, RID 3240, has set up a human milk bank at the Satribari Christian Hospital in Guwahati, with a $35,158 global grant support from TRF and RC Moorpark, RID 5240, USA. The facility will help to pasteurise and store in a deep freezer breastmilk collected from donor mothers who have enough milk and are willing to donate, said the club’s past president Bibhuti Dutta, adding that it is probably the first such facility in the Northeast region. More such facilities will soon be established at Shillong, Silchar, Tinsukia, Siliguri and Malda, said PDG Dr Debashish Das.
Despite the many NICUs across the state, the need for sufficient breastmilk to provide adequate nutritional support to premature or newborn babies with low birth weight was always felt. The milk bank facility will help reduce neonatal mortality rate in the region, said Dr Devajit Kumar Sharma, paediatric and neonatal intensivist at the hospital. While mothers who are delivering their babies at the hospital are going to be the prime donors, the hospital will organise camps in rural belts to encourage lactating mothers to come forward.