Bacolod: First human milk bank opens at TLJPH

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Silay City – The first ever human milk bank recently opened at the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, Negros Occidental, after lobbying for almost 10 years, hospital chief Dr. Mary Ann Maestral said.

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Maestral said it was realized after the Rotary Club of Metro Bacolod District 3850 offered to install the human milk bank at TLJPH in Silay City, providing structures and other equipment.

The human milk bank will accept breast milk donation from mothers who give birth at the hospital, which will be processed for future use of premature babies, she added.

Even before the human milk bank was established, Maestral recalled that women giving birth at TLJPH share their breast milk with fellow mothers who have low milk production for their babies.

Since many mothers are giving birth at TLJPH, we can offer breast milk to others, she added.

Maestral noted that human milk is being purchased from as far as Manila.

Dr. Jane Alojado, TLJPH pediatrics department head, disclosed that breast feed milk is given free to indigents while they encourage donations from those who can afford, to cover the costs of operations.

Jeinz Kreistein Salgado, Project Coordinator of Human Milk Bank and president of Rotary Club of Metro Bacolod, said that the realization of the maternal hygiene and home care support project also coincided with the celebration of Women’s Month, in collaboration with the FilGenerator Services and Company and Institute of Electrical Engineers Negros Occidental chapter.

Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson lauded TLJPH for the additional health care services for Negrenses.

“This Milk Bank is an answer to the growing need for breast milk, not just for optimum nutrition, but most importantly, to save lives of Negrense babies, especially the vulnerable and premature ones,” Lacson said.

Provincial Consultant for Economic Affairs Alfredo “Albee” Benitez stressed the need for the collaboration between the city government of Bacolod and provincial government of Negros Occidental on how to sustain the human milk bank, noting growing demand in the province for it.

Maestral said that the human milk bank can cater the whole Negros Island.

The Rotary Club of Metro Bacolod donated three big refrigerators for the human milk bank. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)

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