The Quezon City government is calling for the support of all lactating mothers to donate breast milk to the Quezon City Human Milk Bank (QCHMB).

The QC Human Milk Bank was launched March 23, 2015 by Mayor Herbert Bautista as a collaborative effort of the city government together with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and other partners advocating breastfeeding.

“Mahalaga ito. Ang layunin ng Quezon City Human Milk Bank na lahat ng mga gatas na nado-donate dito after ma-pasteurize ay mabigay natin sa mga batang nangangailangan. Sa mga batang ito, mga babies na nasa ICU o nasa kritikal na kondisyon, tayo’y  naniniwala na ang breastmilk is the best food for babies,” QCHMB executive director Dr. Catherine Reportoso said.

According to Dr. Reportoso, 10 percent of the collected pasteurized human milk is being stored for distribution during calamities.

“Sila ang mga boluntaryong nanay na merong gatas na more than enough para sa mga babies nila. Ang ibang mga nanay tumutulo ang gatas nila, nasasayang at ‘di na napapakinabangan. So, this milk, ito ‘yung inaasahan natin,” Dr. Reportoso said during an inter-agency meeting of the QC Human Milk Bank.

Milk donors have to undergo interview and blood screening to check their eligibility in donating safe and healthy breast milk. As of 2016, a total of 1191 eligible donors have donated milk. This represents an increase of 89 percent compared to 629 milk donors in 2015.

Volunteer donors should pass the following mandatory procedures: (1) initial screening; (2) Hepatitis B and HIV testing; (3) bacteriological testing before and after pre-pasteurization; (4) post-pasteurization, and; (5) dispensing.

As of 2016, QCHMB has collected a total of 98,854 milliliters in the seven milk depots and from the milk-letting activities conducted by QC Health Department.

Lactating mothers who wish to donate their milk can visit the QC General Hospital or any of the seven lying-in centers of Quezon City, namely: San Francisco Lying-in, Batasan Hills Lying-in, Betty Go-Belmonte Lying-in, Murphy Lying in, Kamuning Lying-in, Arsenia Maximo Lying-in, and Sta. Lucia Lying-in clinics.

In 2016, 151 babies in public and private hospitals benefitted from the milk stored in QC Human Milk Bank.