WINDHOEK, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Namibia Breast Milk Bank (NBMB) spokesperson Birgit Mayer Thursday called on nursing mothers in the southwestern African nation to come forth and support the initiative and donate breast milk.
The bank screens, collects, processes and distributes breast milk to feed premature babies in cases when parent mothers cannot produce enough of their own breast milk, Mayer said.
Mayer said this on the occasion of a donation of 2,500 feeding bottles, from the largest private Namibian company group, the Ohlthaver & List Group.
"Natural breast milk is far healthier for babies than the formula milk, and contributes significantly to their physical and mental development," she said.
According to Mayer, many premature babies end up in unfortunate situations where they do not have direct access to breast milk, especially if their mother passed away after giving birth, or are simply unable to breastfeed due to health reasons.
"Premature babies weighing 1.5 kg and below are more prone to infections and are more protected when receiving breast milk," she added.
Mayer said in order to qualify as a beneficiary of the donor breast milk, babies should weigh 1.5 kg or less, and also if their mothers are not self-sufficient in terms of providing breast milk.
The NBMB became officially operational since April 2018. From April 2018 until April 2019 the NBMB has given pasteurized breast milk to approximately 100 babies of which about 60 are state referrals and the rest from the private sector.