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Donations / subsidised supplies of milk to school feeding during emergencies

This question was posted the Infant and young child feeding interventions forum area and has 3 replies.

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Ali Maclaine


Normal user

22 Sep 2010, 13:27

Hi, During emergencies I know that the Operational Guidance on IFE and SPHERE says that there shouldn't be donations, subsidised supplies or general distributions of any form of milk. But what about giving milk to schools for school feeding is that allowed? Thanks.


Normal user

22 Sep 2010, 17:21

Yes but usually the milk in question is powdered milk not skimmed milk. The powdered milk is considered risk to diarrhoea if given to children


Normal user

22 Sep 2010, 18:36

The issue is with distribution of DSM or Full cream milk powder, which is good media for micro-organisms when mishandled. What are you planning to distribute, UHT milk, powdered or condensed?

Nina Chad PhD

Infant Feeding Consultant

Normal user

25 Sep 2010, 10:24

The big problem with distributing milk is that it almost inevitably makes its way into babies' tummies ... and increases mortality rates six fold (according to WHO 2010 HIV and Infant Feeding Guidelines). This is because most adults (globally) and older children are lactose intolerant - which means that milk tends to cause them discomfort - and diarrhoea. So with regard to a school feeding programme, If the population is lactose-tolerant, I would suggest mixing milk powder with a staple such as maize flour or oats prior to distribution as suggested in the Ops Guidance. Unless you can ensure that you're not going to have any spillover from your programme into the community, I think it would be difficult to justify. Cheers Nina

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