Ver Angola


Doctor defends Human Milk Bank as public policy in the country

The coordinator of the country's Human Milk Bank (BLH) defended, this Monday, that this support for newborn babies should be a public policy in the country to cover the 18 provinces.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

Elisa Gaspar, who was launching this Monday the 1st Congress of Human Milk Banks of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), which takes place between the 13th and 16th of May, in Luanda, said that the meeting will reflect on the use of breast milk as a therapeutic food for babies who need it.

The pediatrician and mentor of the 1st BLH in Angola, opened in November 2019 at the Lucrécia Paim Maternity Hospital, in Luanda, hopes that after the congress the milk bank will be a public policy in Angola "so that it can be extended to all provinces" of the country.

"We think and really want every province to have its own milk bank to be able to help our newborns", said the doctor, quoted by the national press.

The person responsible pointed out the shortage of professionals as the main difficulty that the national BLH faces, with only one doctor, two nurses and a volunteer microbiologist, expressing the hope that this difficulty will be overcome after the meeting.

"We would like to have more people working with us so that we can have more time working at BLH", concluded Elisa Gaspar, also president of the Order of Doctors of Angola.

The country's BLH, a Brazilian cooperation project, has a daily collection capacity of 100 liters of milk, donated by women, who travel to the hospital unit for this purpose.

Human milk banks represent a strategy to protect and support breastfeeding, involving the collection, processing and distribution of milk for premature or low birth weight babies who cannot be fed by their mothers, in addition to offering support and guidance on breastfeeding.

Brazil leads the largest and most complex network of human milk banks in the world, combining low cost with high quality and technology, a network shared with more than 20 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe.

In November 2019, Angola joined the list of African countries that have Human Milk Banks, inspired by the Brazilian model, becoming the fourth CPLP country to implement a center of this type, located at the Lucrécia Paim Maternity, with capacity to store 100 liters of milk per month.

By the end of May last year, 206.5 liters of milk had been collected, benefiting more than 1600 babies, according to Angop.

The congress, which takes place in a hybrid format, organized by the Governments of Angola and Brazil, in partnership with the CPLP Executive Secretariat, takes place under the motto "Food and Nutrition Security Strategy for Newborns at Risk and Infants".


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