MANILA, Philippines – There is a growing need for milk in flood-hit areas in northern Mindanao after the devastation wrought by tropical storm Sendong.
The areas, particularly Cagayan de Oro, have a scarcity of milk for babies because aside from the number of mothers who perished in the floods, most mothers are experiencing difficulty in breastfeeding due to trauma and lack of sustenance.
The first batch of donated breastmilk has already been sent to Cagayan de Oro but more is needed, which is why the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) continues to gather donations.
Maui Hizon, a first-time mother, has also decided to donate breastmilk to the babies affected by Sendong.
“Hindi natin naiisip na may mga bata din doon. Ngayon lang ako naging nanay so talagang mas malaki ‘yung feeling ko ngayon na I want to help more,” Hizon said.
“Sana ‘yung mga moms out there na nagbe-breastfeed, sana maisip nila na baka pwede din nilang i-share. Kasi sila lang ang makakapagbigay nito eh,” she added.
Health officials said breastmilk is vital to babies’ health.
“Ang breastmilk sa panahon ng sakuna ang pinakaligtas na pwedeng ibigay sa sanggol. Mayroon itong antibodies na panlaban sa mga sakit,” Dr. Faye de Ocampo, milkbank consultant of PGH.
Mothers can send their donations to PGH Human Milkbank; Unang Yakap Headquarters located at 17F Green Grove Villa, Lantana St., New Manila, Quezon City; Medela house located at 29 1st St., New Manila, Quezon City; and Marian Hospital located at Barangay Tagapo, Sta. Rosa, Laguna. -- Report from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News