Seeing for a possible solution to the increasing preterm deaths, a leading expert has suggested that ‘kangaroo care’ can serve as beneficial for the premature babies.
Prof Joy Lawn, a healthcare expert, says, “Mothers carrying babies skin-to-skin could significantly cut global death and disability rates from premature birth.
Kangaroo care is a technique practiced on newborn, usually preterm, infants wherein the infant is held, skin-to-skin, with an adult. Kangaroo care, named for the similarity to how certain marsupials carry their young, was initially developed to care for preterm infants in areas where incubators are either unavailable or unreliable.
Reports say, about 15 million babies born at or before 37 weeks gestation every year. These babies account for about 10% of the global burden of disease and out of the total number one million of them die. Of those who survive, just under 3% have moderate or severe impairments and 4.4% have mild impairments.
Calling Kangaroo care ‘not expensive intensive care’, Prof Lawn, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), said, The perception is you need intensive care for pre-term babies. But 85% of babies born premature are six weeks early or less. They need help feeding, with temperature control and they are more prone to infection. Its really only before 32 weeks that their lungs are immature and they need help breathing. Unless there are those breathing problems, kangaroo care is actually better because it promotes breastfeeding and reduces infection.
Americas preterm birth rate remains the highest among industrialized countries. According a recent report released by the March of Dimes, the US preterm birth rate was 11.5 percent in 2012,which was down from 11.7 percent the year before. The preterm birth rate peaked in 2006 (at 12.8 percent) in US, but has declined each year since. This sharp decline resulted in an estimated 176,000 fewer babies born preterm over the six-year period, the report said.
Recently, the organization has graded US ‘C’ for 15-year low preterm births.
Preterm birth is defined as delivery of a baby before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Speaking ahead of World Prematurity Day on Friday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, Three-quarters of the one million babies who die each year from complications associated with prematurity could have been saved with cost-effective interventions, even without intensive care facilities.
The UN chief also leads the Every Woman Every Child movement, which promotes improvements to healthcare for women and children.