Breast Milk Aids Africa

Breastfeeding by M Nabil El TabbakhSometimes, a mom looks around and realizes her breasts are simply producing way more milk than baby’s sucking down. Sure, she can keep it in the freezer for months, but what happens when the freezer’s full?

At some point, there’s nothing left to do exept make her own milk shake, try to make breast milk cheese, or pour all that immunity-providing nutrition down the drain. And that’s really a shame, because there’s millions of infants in Sub-Sahara Africa who really, really need that milk.

The International Breast Milk Project

That’s the situation Jill Youse faced when, in 2006, she surfed the Internet and found iThemba Lethu, a registered non-profit organization based in Durban which helps AIDS orphans. When Youse noticed that iThemba Lethu had a breast milk bank, she contacted the organization, and eventually sent them almost eight gallons of her own breast milk.

When other women read Youse’s online journal, they wanted to donate breast milk, too. So, Youse established the International Breast Milk Project, and in May 2006 she sent a second shipment of over 23 gallons of breast milk. Another 35 gallons were sent in late 2006, and more shipments are scheduled for 2007.

If you’re interested in donating, click here: don’t waste a drop of breast milk.

Africa Aids Facts

Many babies in South Africa are in dire need of breast milk because their mothers have HIV, which can be transmitted through breast milk. Many other babies need breast milk because their moms don’t have access to water clean enough to mix with powdered baby formula.

An estimated 12 million African children under the age of 18 have been orphaned by AIDS.

Each day in Sub-Saharan Africa, over 6,000 people die from AIDS. Another 8,500 contract HIV. Every day, over a thousand newborn babies are infected during childbirth or through their mothers’ milk. Africa is home to 25 million people with HIV, which is about 64% of global infections.

[tags]breast milk, aids, africa[/tags]

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4 Responses to Breast Milk Aids Africa

  1. Lynne says:

    That’s fascinating. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Xman says:

    Wow, Joe,
    You are opening up a big subject.
    Certain phrases come to mind when thinking of tackling some things:
    “Drop in a bucket, grain of sand on a beach”, etc.
    When I got through shaking my head at the impossibility of it all, I remembered the old saying “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime”. That saying jogged my memory about A micro lending outfit out of San Francisco that does great work all over the world. You can go on their site, look at pictures, biographies and goals of a whole list of people to loan as little as $25 to.
    The whole program is tracked/managed very well and has a high 90′s sccess rate. It is quite touching.

  3. JoeC says:

    Lynne: Thanks! And thanks for spreading the word at your site. I’d never heard of this either, but sounds like they’ve run upon an obvious good thing for everybody involved.

    Xman: That IS a cool site. Kiva reminds me of what the Beatles intended with Apple Corp. That’s kind of fun…going through the profiles and ideas and needs and helping fund a favorite. Thanks for the link!


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