The US-based International Breast Milk Project (IBMP), Prolacta Bioscience and Quick International Courier in a joint humanitarian effort delivered 11,000 ounces (2,375 bottles) of donor breast milk to South Africa, this week. The shipment, sent from Monrovia, California, to be split between Durban and Cape Town, will be used to feed premature, sick and orphaned infants.
The Cape Town-based non-profit, Milk Matters, distributes donor breast milk to over 27 major hospitals in the province. Emphasizing the need for continued supply of donor breast milk, Dr. Alan Horn, a neonatologist at the Groote Shuur Hospital in Cape Town, said, “Donating breast milk is an act that involves the least pain and the most gain, compared to any other human tissue or organ donation. It is potentially life-saving and is worth more than equipment or staff.”
In the developing world, breast-feeding and breast milk feeding are key interventions to promote child health and survival. “The IBMP donor milk fills a critical gap while we continue to develop supplies of local donor milk,” says Dr. Max Kroon, Pediatrician, Mowbray Maternity Hospital, Cape Town.
Amanda Nickerson, Executive Director of IBMP, explained, “We support Milk Matters in Cape Town, and iThemba Lethu in Durban because one-third of the people in several South African towns are HIV positive which makes recruiting healthy local milk donors exceedingly difficult. International Breast Milk Project is the only organization in the world to provide large provisions of donor breast milk to infants suffering from HIV/AIDS, malnourishment, poverty and disease in Africa.”
Quick International Courier, global priority transportation specialists, donated their logistics planning and cold chain shipping services to provide safe and secure delivery of the milk. Quick designed an end-to-end solution to ensure that the milk stays in-temperature to maintain its nutritional value.
Prolacta Bioscience, a life science company that creates specialty formulations made exclusively from human milk for the nutritional needs of critically ill premature infants, partners with International Breast Milk Project by processing and packaging the donated breast milk to ensure its quality and safety.
International Breast Milk Project provided over 277,682 ounces, or 69,420 bottles, of life-giving donor breast milk to infants in South Africa.