Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The Mercy Hospital for Women's human milk bank will collect, test, pasteurise and freeze milk for sick and premature babies when it opens in early 2011.
The move has been welcomed by the Australian Breastfeeding Association, which is pushing for a network of breast milk banks for general use across rural and metropolitan Australia.
Growing numbers of mothers are sourcing unscreened human milk from online donors, which has prompted health authorities to warn of the risk of transmitting disease and infection.
Mercy's breast milk bank will be just the third in Australia, after scores were closed in the late 1980s because of the AIDS epidemic.
The site was due to open late last year but had been delayed because of government red tape.
Dr Gillian Opie, who will head up the bank, said the milk would initially be used for babies less than 1500g or 34 weeks' gestation in the intensive care unit or special care nursery.
"A number of our mums in the nursery have already said, 'Can we donate?'," she said.
"We have had a lot of interest.
"The community has got the message that we are not quite ready to open, but the floodgates will open when we do."
She said mothers would be subject to a blood test to screen for viruses such as HIV and hepatitis before they could donate. The milk would be tested for bacteria and must be donated from women with babies aged less than six months.
Such is the demand for human breast milk, a black market has sprung up online.
A Health Department spokesman said women who used private arrangements needed to be aware of risks.
"They need to satisfy themselves that there aren't any underlying blood-borne diseases or other issues, such as illicit substances, which could be passed on," he said.
The department said advertising for breast milk was also a legal grey area that could have implications under the Human Tissue Act.
ABA spokeswoman Karen Ingram said that while the group was not involved in informal donations, the benefits of breast milk outweighed the potential risks.
Mother Leah Timms, 28, of Berwick, had donated breast milk to others in the past, and would be happy to provide it to a bank.
"I would do anything to ensure my baby and others receive the benefits of human milk," she said.
The Mercy hospital is not yet accepting details from potential donors.
From Harold Sun @ http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad-application/breast-is-best-for-new-milk-bank/story-fn6bfm6w-1225972957707
Monday, December 20, 2010
Speaking in his weekly address on radio and television, Mr Abhisit said regarding progress on his government’s plan to reduce social disparity so that welfare and the problems of the underprivileged will be resolved. Nutritional care will be offered to pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers as aspects of welfare for babies. The government will set up nurseries in all sub-districts and at workplaces.
The government is also paying attention to farmers' land problems. The Cabinet last week approved the transfer of land to Klong Yong cooperatives for issuing title deeds in the community. A Land Bank Administration Institute, in the form of a public organisation, will also be established.
Regarding education, Mr Abhisit said the government has already laid out almost all strategies to provide educational opportunities for underprivileged children and others in remote areas, children of migrant families, disabled children, etc. Teachers’ welfare will be also improved.
Concerning justice, the government will support the community justice project, in which mechanism will access people in their communities to give advice and receive complaints.
The three issues will be followed up as part of the reform plan the prime minister considers as a New Year's gift for the public.
The measures need only a small budget and the government is resolving the problems in terms of structure to boost justice and reduce social disparity, he added. (MCOT online news)