Breast milk bank debuts in Nigeria

Towards stemming neonatal mortality in the country, a Nigerian milk booster and lactation company – The Milk Booster, has launched what is now arguably the first breast milk bank in the country.

Launched as part of the activities towards marking this year’s annual Breastfeeding Week, the company’s founder and managing director, Chinny Obinwanne, said the idea stemmed from her personal experience and training not only as a medical doctor but also as a member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.

She said the new bank will prioritise “babies that are very low in weight, sick and healthy preterm babies, sick full term babies, and other babies whose mothers don’t want to breastfeed.”

Mrs Obinwanne said neonatal mortality statistics in Nigeria is still alarming and that the company’s efforts are targeted at contributing to reducing the menace.

Neonatal Mortality in Nigeria

Regarded as the number of neonates dying before reaching 28 days of age, per 1,000 live births in a given year, neonatal mortality rate in Nigeria is said to currently stand at 35 deaths per 1,000 live births as of 2022.

According to Knoema, a data resource website, the neonatal mortality statistics in Nigeria was 65 deaths per 1,000 live births as of 1971, before reducing to 35 deaths in 2020.

Mrs Obinwanne said Nigeria has the highest neonatal mortality rate in Africa and the third highest premature rate in the world.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and…

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