Call for breastfeeding moms to donate milk for preterm infants in Gauteng
Gauteng's health department has called on breastfeeding mothers to donate breast milk to help preterm infants admitted to hospitals.
World Breast Week (WBW) is commemorated every year from Aug. 1 to 7.
Gauteng health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi said WBW called for action from individuals, communities, society and organisations to promote, protect and support breastfeeding and improve the health of babies.
This year’s commemoration is being observed under the theme “Protect breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”.
“As society, we have a shared responsibility to promote, protect and support breastfeeding to ensure children receive the best start in life, optimal health now and in future. This cuts across society, we should encourage breastfeeding at our homes, at work and in our communities,” said Mokgethi.
She said infants received optimal nutrition from breast milk compared to formula.
The health department said there were four public breast milk banks in Gauteng, collecting and providing milk to preterm infant patients admitted to public hospitals.
This allows mothers, who are not able or available to breastfeed their infants, access to breast milk.
Breast milk banks are based at:
- Sebokeng regional hospital in Sedibeng district.
- Kalafong tertiary hospital.
- Steve Biko academic hospital in the Tshwane district; and
- Leratong regional hospital in West Rand.
“Any healthy people who are breastfeeding can donate milk to their nearest facility or at milk collection sites, such as the Dr George Mukhari academic hospital in Tshwane, and Thelle Mogoerane regional hospital in Ekurhuleni district,” said the department.
Those willing to donate breast milk will undergo a health screening.