Kangaroo Care in Malawi

Hi everyone! I felt a bit rushed at the end of my presentation yesterday, but I wanted to talk a little bit more about Kangaroo Care because I think it provides a great alternative to expensive care for premature infants. For example, I’ve been reading a lot about the use of Kangaroo Care in Malawi. Malawi has approximately 15,000 neonatal deaths a year and 60-90% of those deaths are attributed to LBW babies who are mostly preterm. I’ve attached a video and some resources in hopes that it might be interesting to you all since we have seen through reading Monique and the Mango Rains how important (yet lacking) good maternal care is in Malawi.

Here is the link for the video:


And here are a couple (short) articles that you all might find interesting:



I’m also wondering how you all think that various disciplines (nursing, public health, politics, etc.) can contribute to promoting programs such as Kangaroo Care.

2 thoughts on “Kangaroo Care in Malawi

  1. Molly, thank you so much for teaching us about this, it is absolutely incredible! After watching the video you sent us and reading the article, not implementing Kangaroo Care in countries across the globe seems careless. It’s almost as if there is nothing negative about the intervention. It is simple, cost effective, promotes bonding between mother and baby, and works very well to saves the infants put under this type of care. As the mother said in the video, babies need heat, food, and love and Kangaroo Care provides all three. This has made me wonder, what are the barriers in implementation? Is it simply lack of knowledge that this simple and effective intervention exists?
    In terms of achieving MDGs and post-MDG targets, I think that Kangaroo Care is an important intervention that needs advocacy and support. As in any health intervention, diverse disciplines must work together to promote Kangaroo Care. I think that public health workers could start by designing educational programs for that could be implemented at the village level, making sure both men and women in families know what Kangaroo Care is and how it works. Midwives, nurses, doctors, and other health workers from small clinics to large hospital maternity wards would also need to be informed of the efficacy and simplicity of the practice so they implemented it in the mother’s under their care. At a policy level it may be necessary to have a system in place with guidelines for monitoring the infants under Kangaroo Care and watching their progress to ensure that they do not need any further medical intervention. This would have to be done at the international level in the WHO but also at the country level in Health Ministries to make sure the guidelines fit the situation in each specific country. From your presentation and resources you gave to us, it seems that nurses are currently the most informed drivers behind implementing Kangaroo Care. Because of this nurses need to be the advocacy arm until the program gains recognition. They can help patients to implement the practice, speak about its efficacy at conferences and different events helping it to gain traction and the attention it deserves.

  2. Thanks for the video and article links. I agree that kangaroo care is an effective and simple intervention that could improve the well being of newborns, especially low birth weight babies. Its awareness is growing as is the implementation of other mother-baby friendly practices in hospitals. However, there still needs to be an increase in awareness, as you’ve stated. I think this can be woven into hospital policies and promoted by doctors and nurses in the labor and delivery units. It can also be made aware through patient education via pamphlets, group information sessions, and flyers. There is even an International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day on May 15th which could be celebrated in birthing centers. Finally, a way to increase awareness to areas with low resources would be to fundraise for kangaroo care-friendly supplies, such as a sling or blanket. As with the breast feeding awareness movement, kangaroo care awareness can gain just as much momentum with the right support.

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