Lima, Aug 21 (EFE).- The Hospital de San Bartolome in Peru organized Monday a breast milk collection marathon, in which 10 volunteers participated, to help prematurely born children with low weight problems and other high-risk conditions.
“This is the eighth ‘Lechetón’ contest that we have done since we started our work in 2014. We have been working uninterruptedly, even in a pandemic we have worked perfectly, trying to meet our mandatory goal of providing milk to all premature infants under 1,500 grams from the hospital,” said Wilfredo Ingar Armijo, head of the San Bartolome Hospital Milk Bank.
He said the milk extracted Monday is going to be frozen and pasteurized, “with all the necessary controls to guarantee its safety,” so premature babies “can receive safe, nutritious and ideal milk for their neurological development.”
“Another of the objectives of the milk bank is to promote and protect exclusive breastfeeding of newborns, ensuring in such a way that their neurological development is ideal, because it has been shown children who are exclusively breastfed have a higher IQ than those who don’t,” the expert said.
The winner of this eighth edition was Rosaura Soledad Jacobarro, admitted to the specialized hospital because her daughter was premature.
“Here the technical team of nurses and doctors taught me that breast milk is important and from there I began to extract it for my daughter and to donate it to other little ones because they need it a lot, especially premature babies,” said Jacobarro, adding that she was going to Lima to be served from the city of Cerro de Pasco, in the Andean mountain range.
After getting the most milk from the volunteers, she said she was excited and had participated in the act for her daughter and to help other children whose mothers cannot breastfeed.
To motivate mothers to donate milk, the hospital rewarded the first three with gifts for the care of their babies.
These days the week of breastfeeding is celebrated in Peru, in which activities such as the ‘Lecheton’ are carried out to raise awareness and inform about the benefits of this practice.
According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics, 65.9 percent of girls and boys under six months were breastfed during 2022, and in urban areas this figure drops to 61.4 percent.
According to data from Peru’s health ministry, prolonged breastfeeding reduces the risk of being overweight and obesity by 13 percent, contributing to combating non-communicable diseases. It also decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 35 percent and strengthens the bond of love between mother and newborn.
Breastfeeding also protects mothers. Women who breastfeed have a 32 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes, 26 percent lower risk of breast cancer, and 37 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer, compared to women who do not breastfeed. EFE