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.
PMT: Sarmila Mazumder / Sunita Taneja / Halvor Sommerfelt