By Glen S. Ramos
BATAC City, Ilocos Norte – The province of Ilocos Norte now has its own baby milk bank located at the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC).
According to Dr. Rocamia Fermin, Human Milk Bank (HMB) program coordinator, the facility will ensure the availability of human milk for babies especially in times of disasters including those in evacuation centers.
“This is also to help mothers struggling to breastfeed their babies. We can provide them safe human milk,” she emphasized.
She added that the establishment of the HMB is part of the hospital’s commitment as a “Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital to provide support in the nutrition and protection of babies, especially those who were born prematurely and are undernourished.
The facility is fully equipped with a pasteurizer, large bio-refrigerator, hospital-grade breast pumps, milk analyzers, mixers and dispensers, sterilizers, freezers, and medical refrigerators.
“Pasteurized donated human milk will provide optimally nutrition and immunological protection to infants whose mother’s own milk is unavailable.”
The HMB will not only serve Ilocos Norte but also those of its neighboring provinces including Ilocos Sur, Abra, and Cagayan.
The Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center – Human Milk Bank formally opened on December 30, 2020.
Currently, it has 20-liters of donated human milk stored and ready for distribution.
Dr. Rocamia also called mothers who have an abundant supply of breastmilk to donate and help save other babies.
For breast milk donations you can contact the HMB through Facebook Page -(www.facebook.com/hmbilocos) or you can call or text them at 0917-7734682 or 0956-7023207. (AI/MTVN)