Establishing Viet Nam’s first human milk bank
With financial and technical support from Alive & Thrive and PATH, the Da Nang Department of Health launched Viet Nam’s first human milk bank at the Da Nang Hospital for Women and Children. Annually, the hospital receives roughly 3,000 – 4,000 babies that are born premature or low-birth weight and that require special care in the neonatal unit (including babies delivered in the hospital and those transferred after birth from nearby hospitals). Hospital staff estimate that roughly 30% of these babies (900-1,200) do not have access to their own mother’s milk in the few days after birth and would benefit immensely from access to donor human milk. This milk bank will hopefully lead to the development of national human milk bank guidelines and a network of human milk banks throughout the country.