Help is on the way to areas heavily hit by monster typhoon “Yolanda” as local and foreign organizations rush to provide people’s needs, especially food.
But not all survivors from the devastating storm can subsist on solid food. This is why groups are also moving to provide milk for infants in affected areas.
If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you can help ease babies’ plight in Visayas and other Yolanda-hit areas by sharing with them milk you give your own children.
Government hospitals and some private organizations are now accepting human milk donations which will be pasteurized and sent to Yolanda evacuation centers.
Jessica Anne Dumalag, a doctor at the Philippine General Hospital’s (PGH) Human Milk Bank, said breastmilk donations are much better than formula milk.
“Of course milk from lactating mothers is preferred over formula milk, which is basically processed cow’s milk,” Dumalag said in a phone interview.
Health officials have in fact prohibited formula milk donations in temporary shelters, citing safety hazards. Mothers have instead been urged to breastfeed.
“Children are more exposed to allergy when they consume formula milk. We are also not sure if water used to prepare the milk is clean,” Dumalag said.
The PGH Human Milk Bank is accepting donations from both individuals and private groups. Milk sent to the hospital will be pasteurized and frozen.
Moms may drop off expressed milk in milk bags anytime of the day while those who wish to use the facility’s breast pumps should come in between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
PGH is still trying to communicate with a point person in Leyte who can receive the milk donations which should immediately be distributed to infants.
“Milk would have to be delivered in insulated containers to keep it frozen. Once thawed, the milk should be consumed within four hours,” Dumalag said.
Communication woes hounded areas hit by Yolanda, which brought down telco lines and other facilities. Telcos have vowed to ramp up reconstruction efforts.
Here’s a list of other government-run and private health centers, as well as nongovernment organizations, that are also accepting milk donations:
UP-PGH Human Milk Bank
UP-PGH, Taft Avenue, Manila
(02)554-8400 loc. 3418
Alay Gatas Headquarters Human Milk Bank
Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
(02)924-6601 to 25 loc. 288
Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital
Lope de Vega, Sta. Cruz, Manila
(02) 734-5561 loc. 156
The Medical City Lactation Unit
The Medical City, Ortigas Avenue
(02) 635-6789 loc. 6720
St. Luke's Medical Center Lactation Unit
St. Luke's Medical Center Global City, 8th floor North Wing, Bonifacio Global City
(02) 789-7700 loc. 7118
Medela House, 29 1st St., New Manila, Quezon City
Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit
Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC)
B. Rodriguez St, Cebu City
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