With the support of Brazil, Angola inaugurates first human milk bank

It was inaugurated on Monday (18) the first bank of human milk of Angola. The initiative is part of a partnership between Brazil and countries of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) to export their public policy model. Through this initiative, Brazil – the country that has the largest network of milk banks in the world – should provide technical advice on training and project execution in Lusophone countries. To this end, the technical coordination of the CPLP Human Milk Bank Network was inaugurated last week in Rio de Janeiro.

Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign in Brasilia Photo: Elza Fiuza / Agência Brasilamentação em Brasília Foto: Elza Fiuza/Agência Brasil

Human milk banks are breastfeeding support homes where women are supported to overcome obstacles that may be preventing breastfeeding. If this is not possible, milk can be obtained for babies without a mother or whose mothers cannot produce milk.

João Aprígio Guerra de Almeida Photo: Somos Iberoamerica (Portal for Iberoamerican Cooperation)

Cooperation between Brazil and these countries began with Cape Verde in 2008. The Brazilian model is also a reference for Portugal. “Brazil has a history of 34 years. And although we talk about Brazil, our heterogeneity is very large. And if it’s big today, it was even bigger then, ”says João Aprigio Guerra de Almeida, a researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and coordinator of the Global Network of Human Milk Banks. He points out that the Brazilian network was designed to meet different realities and uses low-cost technologies.

With the milk bank network, Brazil will provide technical advice on issues such as training, equipment selection, project execution and identification of the ideal health facilities for the activities. “All from a perspective of developing local skills and allowing these countries to have the autonomy,” he says. Almeida also explains that cooperation does not include the sharing of milk itself.

Prior to Angola, Brazil already assisted Cape Verde and Mozambique bilaterally. “Considering the extremely positive results of the action in Cape Verde over the first years, it was considered important to seek a joint, multilateral articulation forum to develop this initiative,” says Almeida. “It’s a very rich process because we can discuss with everyone at the same time the limits and the limits. This broadens the horizons and Brazilian cooperation in the African continent ”, he concludes.

In Brazil, there are 232 human milk banks in operation. The program is a model for international cooperation in 17 Latin American countries, two Europeans – Portugal and Spain, as well as Africa.

+ Brazil started implementing milk banks in the mid-1980s and started its own national network in 1998. Brazilian expertise in international cooperation drew the attention of the Brics partners – an acronym formed with the initial letters of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (South Africa).

Learn more on https://rblh.fiocruz.br/pagina-inicial-rede-blh