Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista led on Monday (March 23) the opening of the QC breastmilk bank at the city-owned QC General Hospital (QCGH), with the Mayor pressing for the expansion of the facility to reduce the rate of infant mortality in the city.
The Mayor, in a speech, underscored the importance of bringing the program to health centers to save children, especially those born with conditions associated with prematurity.
“This program represents the entire effort of the city government to address the health challenges of Quezon City. This is something that is associated with institutional progress,” the Mayor said.
Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte joined Mayor Bautista during the launching of the project, which is supported by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
As incentive, QCGH will be providing free hospital services to qualified donors depending on the amount of donated breastmilk. For instance, a 500 ml breastmilk contributed entitles a donor to a free consultation at QCGH.
On the other hand, program recipients shall be required to present the prescription from their attending physicians.
QCGH medical director Josephine Sabando said that mothers who wish to donate their breastmilk will be examined for Hepatitis B to reduce health risks from donated milk.
The establishment of the QC human milk bank, an offshoot of an ordinance principally authored by Councilor Aly Medalla in 2012, underscores the importance of breastmilk in promoting adequate nutrition to babies and in the treatment of conditions associated with prematurity and other neonatal illnesses.
As provided under the Medalla ordinance, the QC human milk bank shall be operated on a non-profit basis; but a minimal processing fee may be charged to cover for the screening, processing and administrative costs.
Republic Act 10028, otherwise known as the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009, encourages the setting up of milk banks in all government and private health institutions.
As defined, a human milk bank is an institution established solely for the purpose of collecting, screening, processing, storing and distributing donated human milk to recipients who are not the biological offspring of the donor mothers.
Aside from the milk bank, QC also operates a breastfeeding station within the city hall compound and encourages all establishments in the city to provide a venue for employees and visitors to nourish their babies. This is also part of the city’s campaign to promote breast-feeding among mothers, and even in workplaces.(Maureen Quiñones, PAISO)
Posted By: Edrillan Pasion