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Close comfort: kangaroo care in Malawi

21 April 2017, Impact of Our Work

Kangaroo Care is a key element of our newborn health programs, helping new mothers care for their premature babies.

In the right hands and with proper support, this alternative approach to newborn care can be the difference between life and death.

Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) helps meet a baby’s basic needs for warmth, nutrition, stimulation and protection from infection. An important part of the approach is to encourage parents of premature babies to use continuous skin-to-skin contact for at least 20 hours every day.

The World Health Organization has identified KMC as a critical intervention in saving the lives of pre-term babies. Globally, prematurity is the leading cause of newborn deaths. In Malawi, the prematurity rate is one of the highest in the world. With proper use of Kangaroo Mother Care, about 50% of these babies can be saved.

While Malawi faces many challenges in making KMC more widely available and effective across the nation, Save the Children is actively working to meet these challenges head-on. We provide national-level technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and its partners, and advocate for national-level scale up of "high impact interventions", such as KMC.

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