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File photo: VOA
Minister of Health Nazira Abdula today inaugurates the first Breast Milk Bank in Mozambique, in a strategy aimed at promoting breastfeeding in Mozambique.
“The milk bank is an excellent ally of the Ministry of Health’s policies aimed at promoting breastfeeding in Mozambique,” a statement from the Maputo Central Hospital, which will host the milk bank, reads.
The milk will be donated and given to sick and premature new-borns under medical supervision.
The latest figures on breastfeeding indicate that 45% of mothers in Mozambique do not give breast-feed their babies exclusively for first six months of life, which may compromise child’s development and health.
Between 2011 and 2015, the percentage of mothers who breastfed infants exclusively for their first six months increased from 43 to 55 percent in Mozambique, according to official statistics.
The Breast Milk Bank and the Brazilian experience
The project, coordinated by the Brazilian Cooperation Agency in partnership with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, will help reduce maternal, neonatal and child mortality in Mozambique, a statement from the Brazilian government says.
The project also includes the promotion of training activities, technology transfer and equipment acquisition.
Prior to Mozambique, Brazilian technical cooperation has already supported the founding of 311 breast milk banks in 24 countries, among them Portuguese-speaking countries such as Portugal, Angola and Cape Verde.
These initiatives include encouraging the development of information systems, training health professionals and supporting the construction of milk banks around the world, according to the statement.
Mozambique is the main partner country for Brazilian technical cooperation, which has supported about 200 wide-ranging projects here since 1987.
The Brazilian Network of Human Milk Banks is recognised by the World Health Organisation for its positive impact in the area of child health.
Created in 1998 by the Ministry of Health and the Fiocruz Foundation, the network aims to promote, defend and supporting breastfeeding and the collection and distribution of breast milk of certified quality so as to reduce infant mortality.