Sindh health minister vows to continue with human milk bank project

Sindh health minister vows to continue with human milk bank project

The initiative faced criticism from ulemas.
Sindh health minister vows to continue with human milk bank project

Web Desk


26 Jun 2024

Despite facing criticism from religious groups, the Sindh government remains committed to its newly launched human milk bank project, aimed at saving the lives of premature babies who are too weak to consume cattle, powdered, or formula milk.

Health Minister Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho reaffirmed this commitment during a general discussion in the Sindh Assembly on the budget 2024-25.

Recently, the Sindh Institute of Child Health and Neonatology announced the suspension of this pioneering project, Pakistan’s first human milk bank initiative, due to an adverse religious edict.

Addressing the assembly, the health minister assured that the project would resume with precautions in place to prevent future marriages between foster siblings who shared milk from the same donor, in accordance with Islamic teachings. These precautions include creating a comprehensive database of milk donors, recording details such as Computerised National Identity Card numbers, addresses, and other personal information.

Dr. Pechuho emphasized that this data would be managed by the project administrators and shared with the National Database and Registration Authority to ensure parents of beneficiary babies are aware of their children's foster families.

She highlighted that the likelihood of a beneficiary child marrying a foster sibling is minimal, given the country's large population. She also noted that receiving milk from another woman for nutritional needs aligns with Islamic teachings. Dr. Pechuho lamented that while in the past, newborns were often fed by other women to ensure their survival, this practice is now challenged despite its potential to save lives.

The health minister revealed that the Sindh government had reached out to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), seeking a supportive edict for the human milk bank project. “But why should we wait for an edict to launch an initiative duly sanctioned by Islam?” she questioned.


0 comment

Write the first comment for this!