Brazil to tout success of its breast milk bank network at BRICS Summit

Latin America

As host of the 11th BRICS summit this month, Brazil is aiming to share one of its most successful public health programs: the human milk bank network, which is the world’s largest and, some said, most successful effort in the fight against child malnutrition.

CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco explains.

Every year, Brazil’s Health Ministry releases a new public service announcement, calling for breast-milk donations. The 2019 slogan: “Donate breast-milk, nourish Life”.

Such campaigns have been instrumental in making Brazil’s Milk Bank Network into a global model. Last year, 215-thousand liters were donated by Brazilian mothers to help 185-thousand babies.

The South American nation is home to 225 of the world’s estimated 550 milk banks and has developed its own pasteurization technology.

Brazil has helped set up milk banks in 32 countries, in Latin America, Africa and Europe. The next step is to do the same within the BRICS countries.

The success of these networks depends on breast-feeding mothers who donate their extra milk.

Until they are strong enough to suckle on their own, as little as one milliliter of milk is enough to feed a premature baby once. So, an entire liter goes a long way.