Impact of promoting Community initiated Kangaroo Mother Care with support for low birth weight infants in India

Babies that are born small (also called low birth weight babies), many of whom are born too early, make up nearly 80% of infant deaths. More than 75% of these deaths could be prevented even without access to intensive care.  Providing low birth weight babies the necessary care in the community could make a major contribution to enhancing neonatal and early infant survival. This is particularly salient in India, where over one quarter of infants are born with low birth weight. Most interventions to promote Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) have been carried out in health facilities. This study, developed in collaboration with the WHO, aims to evaluate an intervention package based on the promotion of community initiated KMC (cKMC). The first completed stage designed and developed the intervention package and pilot tested it for feasibility and acceptability among mothers of low birth weight babies. The ongoing second stage is a randomized controlled trial of 10,500 low birth weight babies in Haryana, India, which ascertains the impact of community initiated KMC on survival of low birth weight infants during the neonatal period and in the first 6 month of life. A sub study among the first 550 children also assess for psycho-motor development. Furthermore, the bond between mother and baby is evaluated, as well as rates of maternal depression. The state government of Haryana, India, is a partner in this effort.

Project Management Team

Principal Investigators

SARMILA MAZUMDER is a community health researcher and her main research interests are child health and nutrition with a focus on changing care practices and finding optimal ways to sustainably improve child feeding practices, including micronutrient intake. She has extensive experience in evaluating mortality, hospitalization and morbidity in intervention trials and implementation research. She is involved with the design, implementation and analyses of several community-based research studies, primarily randomized controlled trials, programme evaluations and scaling-up studies. She has experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods and the use of modern software for analysis. Mazumder is currently Senior Scientist and Deputy Director at Centre for Health Research and Development at Society for Applied Studies, New Delhi, India.

SUNITA TANEJA is a community health researcher with vast experience in child health, nutrition and growth. Her research interests are child nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and vaccine trials. She has extensive experience in design and analysis of interventions trials including individual and cluster randomized trials. She is involved in the design, implementation and coordination of community-based and regulatory trials, and she has experience in programme evaluation and scale-up of interventions as well as expertise in the coordination of data management of multicentre trials. Taneja is currently Senior Scientist and Deputy Director at Centre for Health Research and Development at Society for Applied Studies, New Delhi, India.
Co-Principal Investigator
HALVOR SOMMERFELT is Professor in epidemiology and global health at the University of Bergen, Director of CISMAC, and senior consultant at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Through international collaborative ventures with research groups in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the U.S. he has participated in or coordinated front-line research aimed at improving management and prevention of important childhood illnesses and promoting childhood nutrition. Sommerfelt has (co-)authored more than 100 scientific papers, holds lectures at research institutions in Norway, elsewhere in Europe, India, South Africa, and the US, and he has organized international scientific meetings on maternal and child health and vaccination research. Sommerfelt is also member of the Independent Assessment Committee of Advance Market Commitment for vaccines.


Nita Bhandari


Brinda Dube


Ole Fritjof Norheim


Medha Shekhar


Bireshwar Sinha


Country: India