First human breast milk bank opens in Africa

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 12 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5179
  1. Tiago Villanueva
  1. 1 Lisbon

Brazil is sponsoring one of Africa’s first human breast milk banks to help the island of Cape Verde meet its millennium development goal on cutting the infant mortality rate.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Health show that the island’s infant mortality rate was 20.1 per 1000 in 2009, with 262 deaths in infants up to 11 months and 47 deaths in children between 1 and 4 years.

The milk bank, which was launched on 1 August in Agostinho Neto Hospital, in Praia, is the result of a technical and scientific cooperation agreement between the governments of Brazil and Cape Verde.

The hospital has facilities for collecting, pasteurising, and freezing the milk, which can be stored for …

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