Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH) director Dr. Josephine Sabando shows bottled breastmilk that will be sent to evacuation centers in Batangas to help breastfeeding mothers feed their babies. (Photo from Mayor Joy Belmonte's FB Page)

QC donates breastmilk for infant evacuees in Batangas

Mayor Joy Belmonte on Sunday directed the city’s Human Milk Bank to donate mother’s milk to infants in evacuation centers in Batangas.

Belmonte said this is a simple token from Quezon City following the request of the Batangas provincial government for mother’s milk donations.

“Our Human Milk Bank at the Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH) will help breastfeeding mothers affected by the Taal Volcano eruption,” Belmonte said.

Belmonte and Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH) director Dr. Josephine Sabando checked on the supply of mother’s milk that will be distributed to breastfeeding mothers in various evacuation sites in Batangas.

Sabando said the Quezon City Human Milk Bank (QCHMB) will initially give 40 bottles (100 ml) of pasteurized human milk.

If the need arises, Sabando said, 200 more milk bottles are available for immediate distribution.

Breastmilk from the Quezon City Human Milk Bank ready for transport to the evacuation centers in Batangas.

She said pasteurized human milk was gathered through continuous milk letting activities in coordination with the QC Health Department done in various communities in the city.

Belmonte had earlier dispatched the QC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to provide 360 blankets, 360 sleeping mats, 300 partition tents, and two mobile showers for the evacuees.

Earlier, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) reminded the public particularly donors who intend to donate milk for victims of disasters and emergencies that the government is implementing a ‘No Milk Donation Policy’.

In a statement, the NNC said that donations of breastmilk substitutes including infant formula, powdered milk, and other milk; feeding bottles, teats and commercial baby food are not allowed. The NNC stressed that these should not be part of general distribution of emergency food packs, in compliance to Executive Order 51 or the Milk Code and its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations.

The NNC said, the government does not allow milk donations as these are detrimental to the health and nutrition of infants and young children.

“In times of disasters and emergencies, artificial feeding using milks other than breastmilk is not safe due to lack of supply of clean water, fuel for sterilization and boiling among others,” the NNC said.

Diarrhea is one of the biggest dangers to babies who are given milk formulas during emergencies which could result to death if not treated immediately.

The NNC stressed that at all times, breastfeeding should be promoted, protected and supported especially during disasters and emergencies. (PIA-NCR)

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