In light of its purpose ‘Creating a future, Enhancing life’, the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group recently donated 2500 feeding bottles (manufactured in France) to the Namibia Breast Milk Bank (NBMB) valued at (inclusive of transport costs) close to N$120 000, 00.
One of the NBMB’s greatest challenges according to the spokesperson, Sr. Birgit Mayer is the lack of breast milk donors. She calls on mothers to come forth and support this cause of feeding premature babies where the mother cannot supply enough own breast milk. Mayer: “Natural breast milk is far healthier for babies than the formula milk, and contributes significantly to their physical and mental development. Sadly, many premature babies end up in unfortunate situations where they do not have direct access to breast milk - their mother has passed away after giving birth, or are simply unable to breastfeed due to health reasons. Premature babies weighing 1,5kg and below are more prone to infections and are more protected when receiving breastmilk.”
The NBMB is officially operational since April 2018 when pasteurizing of breast milk started and it fed its first three (3) premature babies with milk donated by mothers. In order to qualify as beneficiary of the Donor Breast Milk (DBM), babies should weigh 1.5kg or less, and their mothers are not self-sufficient in terms of providing breast milk. From April 2018 until April 2019 the NBMB has given pasteurized breast milk to approximately 100 babies of which about 60 are state referrals and the rest from the private sector. Mayer: “We are truly grateful for the O&L Group. The donation of the feeding bottles makes a big difference and will go a long way on the journey of the Breast Milk Bank.” Other challenges faced, according Mayer is the bank’s dream to do the payments for blood tests of donors. “It costs money, and will require funding – which we do not have at this point”, she concluded.
O&L Group Manager: Corporate Relations, Patricia Hoeksema officially handed over the donation on behalf of the group. Hoeksema: “O&L has always been passionate about children, and the role the Breast Milk Bank plays in society speaks directly to the O&L purpose. We became involved with the breast milk bank in mid-2018, covering administrative costs such as rent, laboratory expenses and other expenses in the collection, storing, pasteurization and dissemination of milk. We have also established a website www.nbmb.com.na and encourage corporates and individuals to familiarize themselves with the NBMB and get involved where they can.”