First breast milk bank opens in Vietnam

HANOI — The first-ever breast milk bank of Vietnam officially opened Friday at the Maternity-Pediatrics Hospital in the country’s central Da Nang city.

The bank will provide breast milk to support care and treatment for some 3,000 to 4,000 kids each year, reported Vietnam’s state-run news agency VNA.

The bank will collect, pasteurize, test and store breast milk from donors, and then provide it for kids with special demands, such as preterm infants, low birth weight, or those with diseases.

Speaking at the opening, Tran Dang Khoa, deputy chief of maternal and children health services department under the Ministry of Health (MoH), said the opening of the first bank will lay a foundation to expand implementation of other breast milk banks to other nationwide medical facilities.

Official statistics showed that, the mortality rate among kids under five years old in Vietnam stands at 22 percent. Each year, more than 33,000 Vietnamese kids die before their fifth birthdays.

According to studies, to reduce mortality among kids, breast milk is the most important measure that holds big potential on a child’s survival, reported VNA. PNA/