The five mothers sat in Kenya’s biggest maternity hospital preparing to inject breast milk–and not for their own younger children. The five mothers sat in a bright blue space.

In Kenya’s first breast milking account, people waited for babies to be supported by contributing their own milk, whose mothers did not feed them.

Breast milk with abundant antibodies lets infants recover quicker and early. While children profit most from mother’s milk, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that the milk of volunteers is a good alternative if safely obtained and pasteurized.

Six months ago, Kenya’s first breast milk bench in Nairobi’s Pumwani Maternity Hospital was established by the Ministry of Health and the African Population and Health Research Centre. The project is a pilot project, says Elizabeth Kimani-Murage of the Centre, to see whether similar banks can be created in elsewhere in the country.

To date, around 400 donors have supplied 75 babies with nutrient-rich milk. Whether their mothers are sick, disabled, incapable of lactate or with problems related to substance abuse, said Faith Njeru, the head nurse of the department.

Secondly, the purpose of milk donation was for Njeru and her team to make people comfortable. In South Africa, Mozambique and Cape Verde there are milk reserves, but many Kenyans have not learned about it.

 

As she learned it for the first time during her delivery with her second son, Evelyn Wawira thought the idea was odd.

She said: “Here, it is not common to breastfeed someone else’s child.” “You’ve got your bookings–is this safe? Can it? Can it?”But Wawira realized that, by pumping milk for the bank and feeding her newborn son, she could save her life.

“We are only sweetheart!”She said about the whirr of the breast pumps of the system. “We don’t have water, it’s not their fault. As long as the child can and does save his life, why not? Why not?”The women are grateful, such as Sarah Wanjiku. According to Save the Children, her baby Rose was born prematurely, as almost 200,000 Kenyan children every year. Despite hearing about the potential health benefits, Sarah was unable to produce milk.

The group now wants to save more babies in Kenya. (The Katharine Houreld and Giles Elgood study from Ayenat Mersie Edition)

Published by Neha

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