Kangaroo Mother Care saves lives

Sadias and Grace making more kalafong wraps for the skin to skin workshop

Keeping babies warm is one of the things that reduce neonatal mortality. We promote it strongly throughout the course. It also promotes breastfeeding, reduces the risk of hospital-acquired infection, is important for bonding and leads to faster growth.

Grace’s skin to skin workshop
Sadias, Bwindi course coordinator, taking part in the skin to skin workshop

When we went to the neonatal unit initially, there were 5 babies (including a set of twins) between 33 and 35 weeks in incubators or being held by their mothers in piles of blankets. The doctor asked for help because none of them were putting on weight. Grace went to work…

Twins in skin to skin mother care, also known as Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC)

All 5 had been discharged by the end of our week in Bwindi, all putting on weight. Well done to the nurses for being early adopters of KMC in Bwindi and for seeing the benefits straight away.

On day 3 of our visit, we noticed these pictures that had been put up in the anteroom to the neonatal unit where the mothers were waiting to see their babies.

On day 5, we did the round with the mothers actually present in the neonatal unit – the remaining 2 babies both skin to skin.


helping out clinically in the lunch breaks

Grace directing Ugandan health professionals in how to make homemade CPAP

A premature baby (probably about 28 weeks gestation) was born on our first day in Bwindi. He weighed 1kg (2.2lbs). The paediatrician had just left the hospital and we were asked to help the young doctor pictured above who was covering the paediatric unit. Grace and Julia have visited daily for the last 5 days and supported the nurses in their excellent care of the tiny little boy who is now off CPAP and in skin to skin care with his mother for much of the day. It is normal for these babies to lose up to 10% of their birthweight and he now weighs 890g but is tolerating his expressed breast milk and I would expect him to start to put on weight from now on. He has had no blood tests, no x-rays and only homemade CPAP to support his breathing. He is a shining example of what good nursing care can do and we have used him throughout the course to illustrate what we teach about supporting preterm babies. These are the lives that can be saved by teaching staff the Neonatal Care Course.

Julia attending to the 28 week gestation baby on the neonatal unit