GHANA – Researchers from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) are hopeful that the adoption of Human Milk Banks (HMB) will become a reality in Ghana, as a recent survey indicates a positive response towards the concept.

The study, conducted in the Korle-Klottey Municipality of Accra, Ghana, involved 384 pregnant women. Key findings revealed that 43.2% of participants were aware of human milk banking services, while 64.6% demonstrated good knowledge regarding various aspects of human milk banking.

Importantly, 55.5% of respondents expressed a willingness to donate, and 33.6% indicated a willingness to utilize the services of human milk banks.

Dr. Paul Okyere, the lead scientist from the School of Public Health at KNUST revealed that the study showed that there is a likelihood that the concept of human milk banking (both donation and consumption) will be successful in Ghana if there is appropriate education and awareness-building about it.

“The results suggest that there is a positive reception among pregnant women towards the idea of donating and utilizing human milk banks, signalling the potential success of such initiatives in the country.”

The study aligns with the broader global effort to establish human milk banks, which collect, process, screen, store, and distribute human milk to meet the specific needs of infants, particularly in low-income settings.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for infants during their first six months, and HMBs play a crucial role in providing donor human breast milk to infants without mothers or those unable to breastfeed.

Although human milk banks have been successfully implemented in some high-resourced countries, there remains a significant gap in their availability, especially in low- middle-income regions.

Ghana, despite implementing various maternal and child health programs, including policies promoting exclusive breastfeeding, has yet to establish a human milk bank.

The KNUST research suggests that with proper education and awareness initiatives, the adoption of human milk banking could be successful in the country.

Advocates argued that human milk banks are crucial for preventing infant mortality and morbidity, especially in cases where mothers are unable to breastfeed or have infants with very low birth weight.

The positive response from pregnant women in Ghana underscores the importance of ongoing efforts to promote the concept of human milk banking and highlights the potential impact it could have on infant health and well-being in the country.


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