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Gates Foundation Blog Examines Efforts To Scale Up Global Practice Of Kangaroo Mother Care

In the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, Mariam Claeson, interim director, maternal, newborn, and child health on the family health team at the foundation; Gary Darmstadt, senior fellow for the foundation’s global development program; Cyril Engmann, senior program officer for neonatal health in the family health program; and Steve Wall, senior adviser for technical support with Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives program, examine the practice of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for pre-term babies, which in hospitals “consists of continuous skin-to-skin contact, establishing breast feeding, early discharge, and close-follow-up.” They write, “KMC is widely recognized to promote physiological stability, facilitate breastfeeding, keep a baby warm, reduce the risk of serious infections and reduce the mortality of hospitalized, stable premature infants by about 50 percent,” but “some key challenges have prevented KMC from being adopted widely across the globe” (11/13).