The BMJ Public Health in  May published findings from an implementation research study in Koppal district, Karnataka, showing the impact of scaling up Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) on neonatal mortality among babies with a birth weight below 2000 grams.  The study, conducted by KHPT in collaboration with the Government of Karnataka and St John’s Research Institute, Bengaluru, found a 90% reduction in neonatal mortality associated with a KMC intervention for babies with birth weights lesser than 2000 grams, when compared with babies not initiated on KMC.

KMC is a method of  providing skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her newborn, coupled with exclusive breastfeeding. It has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing the risk of mortality among preterm and low birth weight infants in clinical trials, but evidence of its impact in real-world settings is limited. The cohort study thus aimed to assess the impact of scaling up KMC across the 90 health facilities in Koppal district, which has relatively poorer health indicators when compared to the rest of the state.

The study concludes that initiation and maintenance of KMC was associated with a substantial impact on improving neonatal survival, and that as a scalable and efficacious intervention, it has the potential to help India  meet the Sustainable Development Goal of reducing the neonatal mortality rate (NMR) to 12 or fewer deaths per 1000 live births by 2030.

The article may be accessed here.

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