Kangaroo Mother Care can bring down infant mortality rate

March 31st, 2010 - 10:08 pm ICT by Pen Men At Work  

March 31, 2010 (Pen Men at Work): According to a recent study, Kangaroo Mother Care is one of the most effective ways to save premature babies. It is a low-cost intervention where mothers serve as human incubators for their newborns.

In eight low and middle income countries, about 15 cases were studied including three randomized controlled trials, and found a 51 percent reduction in newborn mortality when stabilized babies weighing less than four pounds (2,000 gm) received warmth and breast milk through continuous skin-to-skin contact on the chest of their mothers. According to the findings, up to half a million newborn deaths due to preterm birth complications could be prevented each year if Kangaroo Mother Care were available for all preterm babies, particularly in low-income countries, where newborn mortality rates are highest.

South African-based Dr. Joy lawn, newborn health expert for Save The Children, stated that their team was confident that Kangaroo Mother Care works. No matter where a child was born, if it’s preterm, it needs extra care to survive. Kangaroo Mother Care is inexpensive and reasonable, and they are confident that it is one of the most highly valuable ways to give more babies the chance to survive and bloom.”

Although it is accepted widely in both high and low income countries, Kangaroo Mother Care hadn’t shown a significant impact on newborn mortality earlier. However, Kangaroo Mother Care has the greatest impact during the first week of a preterm baby’s life, when deaths are most likely to occur. Every year about 1 million of the world’s nearly 4 million newborn deaths are due to preterm birth complications.

Some of the world’s poorest countries like some Latin American countries and many Asian and African countries are realizing that Kangaroo Mother Care can drastically bring down newborn deaths. In Malawi - where 20 percent of all newborns have low birth weight, and more than 20,000 mothers each year bear the tragedy of their newborn babies dying - the majority of hospitals and many health centers provide Kangaroo Mother Care.

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