Asia’s first human milk bank

Dr Armida Fernandez

Dr Armida Fernandez

Dr Armida Fernandez, 64, who founded Asia’s first human milk bank called Sneha in Dharavi, in Mumbai, has created a record of sorts by collecting 924 litres of milk from “mother donors” to feed premature and sick babies born in government hospitals in the city. Fernandez, who has made it her mission to promote breastfeeding, collects milk from Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, King Edwards Medical College and Hospital, J J Hospital, Cama Albless and Bhabha Municipal Hospital. About 12,000 babies are born in these hospitals every year and mothers agree to donate breast milk after intensive counselling. The milk is pasteurised at 65°C for 30 minutes and then frozen at minus 20°C. It can last six months and proves a boon for sick and abandoned babies.

Featured in Harmony Magazine
October 2007

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