Tamil Nadu inaugurates seven milk banks
by Nirmala Carvalho
The initiative coincides with World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August). Its goal is to safeguard the health of newborns and reduce infant mortality.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram inaugurated seven new milk banks with a total of 352 rooms for mothers on the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August).

The number of such state-run banks in Tamil Nadu now stands at eight. Last year, the first mother's milk bank was set up at the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children.

The initiative is aimed at addressing the needs of working women, especially commuters, who often have to wait several hours in bus terminals stations, as well as women who do not have milk or cannot afford formula milk.

"Through this initiative the health of babies will be safeguarded and child mortality avoided," a government press release said.  

This kind of facilities was set up in seven state-run hospitals in Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Coimbatore, Theni, Salem and Thanjavur, as well as the old Government Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Hospital at Egmore.

Each bank has equipment worth a million rupees (US$ 16,000) to preserve the milk donated by mothers. Such milk can be stored for up to three months and will be given to babies who cannot get milk from their mothers.