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Current Affairs

Kangaroo mother care improves infant survival

Date: 27 January 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Research by a team in Haryana showed that kangaroo mother care improved survival by 30% and 25%, in babies till 28 days and six months of age, respectively. 

 

Background

Though previous studies have shown that keeping the baby in contact with the mother improves survival in babies when compared to standard hospital care, global data show that barely 5% receive such care.

 

Details

  • Kangaroo mother care (KMC) or the intervention where babies are placed in skin-to-skin contact with their mothers and exclusively breast fed has been recommended worldwide for stable low-birthweight newborns.

  • Stable babies are defined as babies who do not need respiratory support or intravenous fluids and can accept oral feeds.

  • The paper adds that such care for all infants with low birthweight could substantially reduce neonatal and infant mortality.

  • About 97% of the world’s low-weight babies are born in developing countries, and India accounts for about 40% of this, implying an urgent need of effective interventions.

  • The care improves exclusive breast feeding, duration of breast feeding, and also reduces infections. It also promotes growth and development of the child and increases mother child bonding, and also reduces stress in both mother and baby.

  • Mothers are advised to keep the babies as long as possible, preferably 24 hours in day and night and till 28 days of age. An average of 11 hours of skin-to-skin contact was achieved, and mothers reported giving kangaroo mother care till 27 days of baby’s age.

  • WHO recommends that it be continued till baby attains a weight of 2.5 kg or till babies wriggle out, indicating that they do not need kangaroo mother care any further.

  • The paper adds that kangaroo mother care has the potential to prevent thousands of neonatal deaths in our country if 90% coverage can be achieved.