In this Advocacy Impact Case Study, PATH and partners used the emergence of breastfeeding as a national policy priority in South Africa to demonstrate how human milk banks could provide a safe and effective solution for vulnerable infants without access to their mothers’ breast milk. Advocates from PATH, the Human Milk Banking Association of South Africa (HMBASA), South African Breastmilk Reserve, and Milk Matters provided government policymakers with evidence on the benefits of a national milk banking program throughout the late 2000s. As a result, the Tshwane Declaration, South Africa’s 2011 national policy on breastfeeding, declared the country’s support for exclusive breastfeeding and helped make human milk banking a national priority. As of early 2015, several provincial governments had also prioritized developing their own policy frameworks, adopting new technologies, and setting up milk banks to meet local needs.
Publication date: February 2015