Health Secretary inaugurates ‘Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’, a National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre
The Health Secretary said that the decline in maternal and child mortality in India is much faster than the global average rate of decline and thanked the frontline workers for their dedicated work.
CK Mishra, Secretary Health and Family Welfare, on 7 June 2017 inaugurated the ‘Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’, a National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre at the Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC), New Delhi.
The Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh will be the largest milk bank and lactation counselling centre available in the North India.
The initiative “Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh” is an initiative of the LHMC and was established in collaboration with the Norwegian government, Oslo University and Norway-India Partnership Initiative (NIPI).
After inaugurating the centre, the Health Secretary added that it is envisaged that with this donor human milk bank, all newborns in and around Delhi will have access to life-saving human milk regardless of the circumstances of their birth.
About Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh
• “Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh” opened at Lady Hardinge Medical College in collaboration with the Norwegian government, Oslo University and NIPI Newborn Project, is a national human milk bank and lactation counselling centre.
• It will collect, pasteurise, test and safely store milk that has been donated by lactating mothers and makes it available for infants in need.
• In addition, this facility will protect, promote and support breastfeeding of their own healthy mothers by providing lactation support to mothers through dedicated lactation counsellors.
• This project will not only act as a dedicated centre to support breastfeeding and improve infant survival but also act as the teaching, training and demonstration site for other milk banks to be established under the Ministry Of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
While speaking at the function Mishra said that even when we know the potential of mother’s milk for a child, breastfeeding rates are low in India. He informed the participants that the early initiation of breastfeeding is only 40%, even when the institutional delivery has increased by 78.9%. He said, “In view of this, we launched Mothers Absolute Affection (MAA) programme to create awareness regarding breastfeeding as being the most cost-effective way of enhancing the child’s immunity”.