International Breast Milk Project donates bottled breast milk

IBMP, Prolacta and Quick Intl. join to help AIDS-stricken babies in South Africa; organization calls on U.S. mothers to donate milk for next shipment

The U.S.-based International Breast Milk Project (IBMP), Prolacta Bioscience, and Quick International Courier cooperated in a joint humanitarian effort that delivered 10,000 oz (2,500 bottles) of donor breast milk to be utilized by premature, sick, and orphaned infants in Cape Town and Durban, South Africa.

Cape Town and Durban-based nonprofit firms Milk Matters and iThemba Lethu distributed the donor breast milk to more than 25 major hospitals and two orphan homes for children affected by AIDS.

The 150-mL polypropylene bottles have a 40-mm neck and screw-on closure and were shipped in insulated polyurethane coolers. (In this photo, bottles are shown packaged in outer bags.)

Emphasizing the need for continued supply of donor breast milk, Dr. Max Kroon says, "In the developing world, breast feeding and breast milk feeding are key interventions to promote child health and survival. These benefits are greater in preterm babies and are undermined if they get any non-human milk. With up to 200 HIV-exposed babies born at Cape Town's Mowbray Maternity Hospital every month, donor milk is critical to ensuring that these babies only get human milk, which reduces the risk of HIV transmission while retaining the benefits of breast milk."

Penny Reimer, director of iThemba Lethu Milk Bank, explains, "Breast milk provides optimal nutrition for babies orphaned as a result of HIV. It substantially improves their quality of life, reduces infections for those who are HIV-infected and these babies grow and thrive on breast milk."

In an appeal to mothers in the U.S. to donate milk for these vulnerable infants in Africa, IBMP's executive director, Amanda Nickerson, states, "Donor breast milk is one of the most important resources for infants in developing countries and the demand consistently outstrips the supply."

Quick International Courier, global medical transportation and logistics specialists, donated their services to provide the fastest and most secure cold chain transportation services from Monrovia, CA to South Africa.

Prolacta Bioscience, a life science company that creates specialty formulations made exclusively from human milk for the nutritional needs of critically ill premature infants, partnered with IBMP by processing and packaging the donated breast milk to ensure its quality and safety.

International Breast Milk Project has provided more than 277,682 oz, or 69,420 bottles, of life-giving donor breast milk to infants in South Africa. More information is available.
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