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The Sindh Institute of Child Health & Neonatology (SICHN) has halted its Human Milk Bank project, the first of its kind in Pakistan, following a new religious edict (fatwa). A spokesperson from SICHN announced that they would seek additional guidance from Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi and the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII). This decision comes shortly after the inauguration of the First Human Milk Bank by Sindh Health Minister Dr. Azra Pechuho, alongside officials from UNICEF and the Pakistan Pediatric Association (PPA). The project aimed to provide breast milk to premature babies who are unable to receive sufficient nutrition from their mothers.

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These premature infants, often born before 34 weeks of gestation and weighing under 2 kg, face significant health risks without adequate breast milk, including complications, infections, and even early death.
The SICHN spokesperson emphasized that the milk bank was established to meet these critical needs, offering breast milk from Muslim women to Muslim children free of cost, thereby avoiding any commercial implications. Initially, the project received religious endorsement in December 2023 through a fatwa that supported its establishment. However, a revised fatwa issued on June 16 has prompted the suspension of the project.
The spokesperson assured that consultations with religious authorities would continue to ensure that the project adheres to Islamic guidelines before any further steps are taken.

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