Save the Children, a non-governmental and humanitarian organisation that promotes the welfare of children, has described the Kangaroo Mothercare as a high-impact intervention for saving premature babies at a low cost.
Speaking at Nyambi headquarters in Machinga last Thursday during the launch of ‘Kangaroo Mothercare Mwana ndi Mphatso’ campaign, Save the Children Director of Health and Nutrition, David Melody, said Kangaroo Mothercare is provided to children born before the full gestation period of 37 weeks. He said research has shown it is effective in ensuring survival of the premature low-birth-weight child.
“We are primarily focusing on improving the quality of health services for premature newborns and saving lives of these babies through the use of a simple and cheap but effective Kangaroo Mothercare which basically requires only the dedication of the parents,” Melody said.
Melody said low-birth-weight babies have a high chance of making it to adolescence and adulthood if there are concerted efforts from all stakeholders and the family unit in promoting Kangaroo Mothercare as it is simple to embrace.
He said the intervention needs to be scaled up throughout the country and thanked key stakeholders such as SSDI’s ‘Moyo ndi Mpamba’, Unicef, Mercantile and Ministry of Health for supporting the campaign.
Chief Nyambi, whose area is one of impact areas where the campaign is being implemented, said in the past many low-birth-weight children have died needlessly because of lack of care and knowledge on how to support them to grow into healthy and strong productive children.
Ministry of Health Public Relations Officer, Adrian Chikumbe, said the Kangaroo Mothercare has been an effective replacement to incubation that was offered in hospitals which was both expensive and involving.
“Children with low birth weight born less than 37 weeks of gestation period were being put under incubation care which involved the use of electricity and intensive supervision at the hospital,” Chikumbe said.
He said unlike the incubation care, Kangaroo Mothercare requires no electricity and staying at the hospital as the child is cared for by its own mother and father at home.
He said early ante-natal attendance and institutional delivery could further help mitigating deaths of premature newborns in the country.
Save the Children is implementing Kangaroo Mothercare Mwana ndi Mpatso Campaign in Thyolo and Machinga on a pilot basis in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, Mercantile, SSDI and Unicef, among other stakeholders.
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