An estimated 15 million babies – more than 1 in 10 – around the world every year are born too early. Premature births can lead to a higher rate of infant mortality or a lifetime of disability, including learning disabilities, and visual and hearing problems.
By providing funding and support to innovators like Dr. Nathalie Charpak, pediatrician and director of the Kangaroo Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada is working to scale up the use of the Kangaroo Mother Care method in low- and middle-income countries globally to reduce infant mortality and morbidity, allowing better cognitive development for infants, fostering a better mother-child relationship and promoting maternal nutrition.
Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is a method of caring for premature and low birth weight infants that has been shown to have many benefits for both the baby and the parent. This method involves skin-to-skin contact between the baby and their mother or father and exclusive breastfeeding. KMC is a low-cost and effective method that can help regulate the baby’s temperature, breathing, and heart rate, while also promoting bonding between the parent and infant.
Grand Challenges Canada continues to partner with innovators globally including Fondation Kangourou Cameroun in Cameroon and Community Empowerment Lab in India to promote the widespread use of this method.
Learn more about Kangaroo Mother Care in this BBC interview.