Human Milk Bank closed after fatwa revised by same Darululoom
KARACHI: (Web Desk) The Sindh Institute of Child Health & Neonatology (SICHN) has suspended the country’s first Human Milk Bank project following the issuance of a revised fatwa or religious edict.

 In December 2023, Darululoom Karachi issued a fatwa with preconditions providing necessary religious endorsement to proceed with the project. "However, a revised fatwa has prompted us to pause the functionality of the Human Milk Bank. This decision is in compliance with the updated religious guidance," a SICHN spokesperson said in a statement.

The official maintained that the institute would consult the Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi and the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) for further guidance on the issue.

A few weeks ago, the Human Milk Bank and Early Childhood Center at SICHN was inaugurated by Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho, along with officials from UNICEF and the Pakistan Pediatric Association (PPA).

Regarding its purpose, the spokesperson said, "The premature babies are of 34 weeks or less gestation and they have less than 2kg weight. Most of the mothers having such babies do not have this much breast milk that could meet children’s nutrition requirement."

“Giving them (premature kids) milk other than breast milk exposes them to the risk of complications, infections and early death. Therefore, to save the lives of these premature newborns, it is necessary to provide them breast milk,” he added.