Technology Transfer Opportunity: Milk Banks

Here is a very interesting idea in increasing the survival rates of newborn babies suffering from critical illnesses. Leveraging studies that show the positive benefits of breast milk in helping infants and neonates fight diseases, this concept relies on the creation of a milk depository in a similar fashion as a blood bank.

The idea recently won a $10,000 prize from Ideablob.com.

The Mothers’ Milk Bank of New England is a newly formed non-profit milk bank serving babies, hospitals, and families throughout New England. The Milk Bank will provide screened and pasteurized breastmilk to premature and critically ill babies, primarily in neonatal intensive care units. This milk will be donated by volunteer mothers in our region. For sick and premature babies, breastmilk can mean the difference between life and death, and a short or long hospital stay. Studies have shown that premature babies who receive banked milk are far less likely to suffer life-threatening complications and have much faster recovery rates.

Such a venture would likely have significant merits in both rural and urban arenas within India, assuming logistical issues such as refrigeration and awareness can be ironed out.

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