Nairobi County is set to establish a breast milk bank at Pumwani Maternity Hospital.

This milk bank will be established through a joint initiative between the Ministry of Health and an NGO, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (Path).

This plans were unveiled during the launch of World Breastfeeding Week last week on 2nd Aug 2018 at Pumwani Maternity Hospital. 

Approximately 39,000 babies die every year in the country due to neonatal complications. The bank is estimated to help prevent at least 10 per cent of the neonatal deaths when established.

Speaking at the event Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the government would implement the provisions for the establishment of breastfeeding centers in firms as spelled out in the 2017 Health Act.

“Breastfeeding is a baby’s first vaccine and the best source of nutrition. It is therefore a universal solution that lays the foundation for good health and survival for children,”she added 

Nairobi County governor Mike Sonko added that the facility would set up a be instrumental to families whose mothers cannot breastfeed for reasons such as death, poor health or absence.

Countries such as India, South Africa, France, Japan, Canada and Brazil are among 37 countries around the globe that have established milk banks.

There are currently more than 500 human milk banks globally.