Kangaroo mother care: helping low birthweight babies to thrive

Kangaroo mother care (KMC) can improve the health of premature or low birthweight newborn babies. St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences and Karnataka Health Promotion Trust are part of an initiative working with the Government of Karnataka to scale up the practice of KMC in Koppal district of Karnataka state, India. The project intervened at three levels—district health management, public and private providers in urban and rural areas, and front-line community health workers. Paediatricians, nurses, and community health workers were trained and mentored to detect and manage newborn complications and then initiate, support, and monitor KMC in health facilities and in the homes after discharge. The mother shown in this photograph was helped through this initiative at the time of her delivery when she gave birth to low birthweight triplets. The girls are now 2 years old and thriving.

K V Balasubramanya, Prem K Mony, Suman Rao, Krishnamurthy Jayanna; Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, Bengaluru, India (KVB, KJ), Division of Epidemiology & Population Health, St John’s Research Institute, Bengaluru, India (PKM), Department of

Neonatology, St John’s Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru, India (SR), and University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada (KJ)

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