The KMC Project in UP helps in shaping a health system that saves newborn lives and helps new mothers
The launch of 101 Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) lounges took place on 6th March, at Indira Gandhi Pratishthan, Lucknow. In the past year, 69 KMC lounges were successfully established across districts in UP, taking the total tally of KMC lounges to 170. This was done under the leadership of, Prof. Rita Bahuguna Joshi (UP’s Minister of Women Welfare, Family Welfare, Maternity & Child Welfare and Tourism) and NHM, in collaboration with Community Empowerment Lab as the technical and scientific partner
Kangaroo Care Project (KMC), is an innovative method that increases survival chances for underdeveloped, underweight and pre-mature newborns. It is a simple technique, where the mother holds her newborn to her chest (>20 hours a day) and breastfeeds it. This skin on skin contact and the nutritive qualities of mother’s milk, together, have proven to relax hyperventilation, bring down hypothermia (increase body temperature) and keep the child away from infections.
KMC can help in bringing down the infant mortality rate by 25%. It was also identified as a preferable measure in increasing the survival rates of newborns in the India Newborn Action Plan, 2014.
Since the beginning of this initiative, more than 36,587 newborns have received the life saving benefits of KMC. Uttar Pradesh has witnessed many unbelievable yet amazing stories of transformation experienced by facility administrators, doctors, nurses and families. The care units are clean, air conditioned, respectful towards mothers and are available in most government hospitals for free. These have also worked in altering the perception of the health care for mothers and infants.
During the Indore Summit 2017, these innovative KMC units were given the distinction of ‘National Best Practice’.
These will not only make health care a more accommodating and accessible option, but will also prove to be a starting step in shaping a respectable system of neo-natal, post-natal and pre-natal care in the country.