Rotary Community Breast Milk Bank
One of Rotary’s Areas of Focus is Child and Maternal Health. After 4 years of planning and fundraising the first Rotary Community Breast Milk Bank was launched in June 2018 at St. George’s Hospital who agreed to support this Rotary project.
The World Health Organisation says that human donor milk is the next best thing for babies after it’s own mother’s milk and states that human milk banks should be made available everywhere.
The benefits are huge as follows;
It protects against sudden infant syndrome, diabetes, allergic diseases and chronic gut illnesses.
It protects babies from chest, ear and bladder infections because of factors in the milk and ongoing support for the immune system.
Why do we some women need this help ?
Some cannot breast feed due to illness, operations, or some medications. The ideal is to be able to breast feed for the first 6-8 weeks of life to give that immunity to a baby.
It costs $30K a year to run this free service and 4 Rotary clubs, donations from several Trusts and the public have been generous in their support. We are wanting to grow this service throughout the South Island.
To date we have helped over 1500+ babies, 98 women have donated their milk and 70 volunteers run the 5 day, 2 hours per day service.
Rotary is helping to grow the next generation of New Zealanders.