A State Level Dissemination Workshop organised by KHPT based on the Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) initiative in Koppal, Karnataka.

KHPT organised a day long workshop in collaboration with the Government of Karnataka (GoK) and St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences on 30th April 2019 in Bangalore, to share the successes and evidences from the KMC pilot initiative implemented in Koppal. The workshop was attended by state level key officials from the NHM, Health department of Karnataka, District Program Officers and implementation team (RCHOs, SNCU Nodal Officers, ASHA Mentors, select DHOs, select Counsellors, select KMC Nurses ASHA Mentors), individuals and staff of KMC Project from KHPT and St. John’s Academy.

The workshop has sessions on three main themes related to improving KMC coverage and practice. Theme one focused on improvement of quality of care at the facility to facilitate effective KMC, theme two on community actions toward sustaining interest among beneficiaries to continue KMC at home, and theme three focused on health system strengthening.

It laid emphasis on the importance of linking facilities and communities to ensure continuum of care for the preterm low-birth weight babies. Dr Prem Mony , Vice Dean, St John’s Research Institute says, “The Government of Karnataka asked us to implement KMC, that is skin to skin contact and exclusive breastfeeding in Koppal, which has high neonatal mortality. What we have learnt in Koppal can be passed on to all other districts in the country”. Further, Dr Mony thanks the ‘DNA’ of the project, the Doctors, Nurses and ASHAs, whose efforts resulted in 85% KMC initiation in Koppal, far ahead of the average initiation rate of 5% in 600 other districts of India.

Dr Praveen Venkatagiri, Secretary, NNF, Karnataka, said that uptake of KMC in the private sector is low as it is perceived as a low-cost solution. “Implementation challenges are about team work and different responsibilities need to be taken up as a team to make KMC a success.”

The program ended with remarks by Dr. Krishnamurthy Jayanna, Technical Advisor, Quality Improvement, KHPT. He shared that there was a need for a continuous improvement culture when it comes to KMC, and that there should be a monthly state review to chew positive and negative practices. The panel agreed that the way forward is to integrate KMCs into SNCUs and taluka hospitals on a 24/7 basis. Training of Trainers at state and district level would start the process of integration.

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