NEW YORK, May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This Sunday, individuals all over the nation will be celebrating a very special holiday to honor the women who gave them life: their mothers. While people in the United States turn their attention toward their caregivers, the International Breast Milk Project (IBMP) hopes to inspire some to also think of mothers abroad.
The IBMP is an organization that helps mothers in the United States send their breast milk to infants in need, who have either lost their mothers or whose mothers are not able to breast feed due to HIV infection, untreated tuberculosis, serious illness, and/or severe anemia or malnourishment. Despite the fact that breast-fed infants have been proven to be healthier, IBMP is the only international organization to provide breast milk to infants in developing countries.
Specifically, the organization focuses on infants in South Africa, where it is estimated that 1.5 million children have lost their parents due to HIV/AIDS, and many more have mothers who are unable to breastfeed because they are ill. By the end of 2009, IBMP will have sent an estimated 262,655 ounces (7,767 liters or 2052 gallons) of healthy breast milk to infants in South Africa. That is equivalent to the amount of milk needed to feed 2,188 babies one bottle of milk a day for 30 days.
In 2007, the organization started with just one donor, the organization's Executive Director Jill Youse, and it is estimated that by the end of 2009 IBMP will have 1,750 donors nationwide. As it grew in size, the IBMP partnered with two organizations, Prolacta Bioscience, which covers most of the cost involved in milk collection, and Quick International Courier, responsible for transporting the milk to South Africa.
Youse explained the donor process to MediaGlobal: "Applications are completed online, blood work is done in the donor's home, and coolers are shipped directly to doorsteps, making the process seamless and easy for a mom with a new baby at home."
Once the milk has made it to South Africa, it is split three-ways and sent to partner organizations in Durban, Uitenhage and Cape Town. At its final destination, the milk is given free-of-charge to mothers in need.
|SOURCE MediaGlobal News Service|
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