First in Ilocos region: Human milk bank opens in Ilocos Norte hospital
BATAC CITY—Babies born here will now have a steady supply of breast milk with the opening of the first human milk bank (HMB) in the Ilocos region in Ilocos Norte’s biggest public hospital.
More than two years in the making, the HMB in Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMHMC) was established to aid in the nutrition and protection of babies, especially those who were born prematurely and are undernourished.
Dr. Rocamia Fermin, HMB program coordinator, said HMBs play a vital role mostly in areas suffering from the impact of disasters.
Fermin said HMBs would ensure that babies in evacuation sites are given safe food through donated human milk by helping mothers struggling to breastfeed their children.
She said the establishment of the HMB is part of MMMH&MC’s commitment to strengthen its recognition by the Department of Health as a “Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital.”
In a statement, HMB adviser Dr. Maria Paz Virginia Otayza said the facility is open not only to Ilocos Norte residents but also to others who live in neighboring provinces, like Cagayan, Ilocos Sur and Abra.
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