South Africa is banking it!


South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province has achieved a world “first” with the opening of a “community-based breast milk bank.” The milk bank is designated for AIDs orphans or for babies whose HIV-infected mothers have left them and is the creation of Professor Anna Coutsoudis, researcher and specialist in the area of infant feeding, breastfeeding and HIV.


Her awareness of the need for this service developed from her work with AIDs orphans and abandoned babies in children’s homes and in hospitals. And at the same time, many women approached her, wanting to do something practical to offset the HIV/AIDs epidemic. She noted that “The mothers have to be free of any infectious diseases or drugs, and all the milk is pasteurized. “The milk has to be kept in sterile plastic bags in a freezer and it is stored in a central depot.”


She said that where possible a mother nursing a baby of a certain age, was “twinned” with an AIDs orphan or needy baby of the same age. Eventually, she hopes that the community-based concept could be extended to other areas of South Africa. At present the project is a voluntary service, funded by the UNICEF.


—The Independent(South Africa)

October 22, 2001



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