Community minded mom makes extraordinary breast milk donation
Thousands of babies benefitting from human milk banks’ initiative
A selfless mother of two has donated over 150 litres of breast milk over a six month period to the Netcare Ncelisa human milk banks, providing nutrient rich breast milk to more than 30 vulnerable babies who are unable to receive their own mother’s milk.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that babies receive breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life, as it contains the necessary energy and nutrients for infants as well as antibodies that help protect against many common childhood illnesses,” says Verena Bolton, national coordinator of Netcare Ncelisa human milk banks.
Geraldene Stumke says that after bringing her second child into the world six months ago she began freezing excess milk and it quickly became apparent that she had the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of other infants who were medically at risk.
|Pic: A premature baby at Netcare Pholoso Hospital is one of thousands of vulnerable infants whose health is greatly benefited by the generous donation of safe breast milk, such as that donated by Mrs Geraldene Stumke, via the Netcare Ncelisa human milk banks. Breast milk contains the necessary energy and nutrients for infants as well as antibodies that help protect against many common childhood illnesses.
“When I heard about breast milk donation I realised that I had an opportunity to give back in a special way. After undergoing the donation screening process I delivered my first donation to Netcare Cuyler Hospital, which totalled 17 litres of breast milk.
“Since then I have kept going, knowing that my donations are giving many babies the best possible nutrition while also helping their mothers and families, who so often struggle to provide breast milk for various reasons,” she says.
According to Bolton, over 3 230 babies have received donated breast milk since the inception of Netcare Ncelisa human milk banks in 2017, which operates under the aegis of the Netcare Foundation.
The Netcare Ncelisa human milk banks also provide breast milk to hospitals in the public sector, including Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and Uitenhage Provincial Hospital. Since the commencement of Netcare’s partnership with the first of these hospitals in February 2019, more than 770 babies in the public sector have received donated human breast milk from a Netcare Ncelisa human milk bank.
“The breast milk collected from eligible donors is processed in accordance with strict protocols and regulations, to ensure absolute safety for the infants who receive it. We have 36 human milk collection sites at Netcare maternity units around the country where donations can be delivered and we welcome any and all donations that are made through our existing processes and channels.
“Mrs Stumke and our many other breast milk donors are making a truly tangible impact in our society and for this we thank them from the bottom of our hearts. The incredible outcomes that you have helped to achieve are testament to your generosity and community mindedness in doing whatever you can to make a difference.
“We also wish to thank our generous partners Ampath Laboratories for conducting the necessary screening for all donor applicants and SkyNet for ensuring the safe transportation of all donated breast milk around the country, on an ongoing pro bono basis,” concludes Bolton.
Women who are interested in becoming breast milk donors can contact any Netcare hospital with maternity facilities for more information or visit the Netcare Ncelisa human milk banks web page by following this link: https://bit.ly/3EVR355
Notes to editor
Looking for a medical appointment? Netcare appointmed™ will make appointments for YOU with specialists practising at Netcare hospitals, GPs and dentists at Medicross medical and dental centres, and specialists at Akeso mental health facilities. Simply request an appointment online at www.netcare.co.za/Request-a-medical-appointment or phone Netcare appointmed™ on 0860 555 565, Mondays to Fridays between 08:00 and 17:00.
To find out more about the services offered through Netcare hospitals and other of the Group’s facilities, please visit www.netcare.co.za or contact the Netcare customer service centre either by email at [email protected] or phone 0860 NETCARE (0860 638 2273). Note that the centre operates Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 to 16:00.
For media enquiries, contact MNA at the contact details listed below.
Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare Hospital Division and Netcare Ncelisa Human Milk Banks
For media enquiries contact: Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster or Clementine Forsthofer
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]