A breast milk bank opened at the Da Nang Hospital for Women and Children on February 17, aiming at providing milk for 3,000 – 4,000 babies per year.
The bank, the first of its kind in Vietnam, will collect, sterilise, test and preserve donated mother’s milk and provide it for disadvantaged infants while offering consultations on breastfeeding.
Deputy Director of the Ministry of Health's Maternal and Child Health Department Tran Dang Khoa said breastfeeding helps enhance babies’ health, and expressed his hope that the bank will help all local children access to safe mother’s milk no matter what circumstances they are born.
It is also expected to lay a foundation for the ministry to expand the model to other medical facilities, Khoa added.
Ngo Thi Kim Yen, Director of the Da Nang Health Department, highlighted the establishment of the bank, saying that it will promote breastfeeding and health care for infants in the city as well as in the central and Central Highlands regions.
The international standards-met bank is funded by the Margaret A.Cargill Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Fund. The bank staff have received technical training with support from several international non-government organisations.
Despite positive achievements in child health care, the under-five mortality rate in Vietnam is still high, standing at 22 per thousand or 33,000 children per year.
Studies show that breastfeeding is among the measures to reduce the mortality rate among kids.