Aim: Though Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) has demonstrated benefits for low birth weight newborns, coverage continues to be low in India. As part of a World Health Organization (WHO) multi-country study, we explored intervention models to accelerate KMC coverage in a high priority district of Karnataka, India.
Methods: We used implementation-research methods, formative assessments and quality improvement approaches to design and scale-up interventions. Evaluation was done using prospective cohort study design; data were collected from facility records, and client interviews during KMC initiation, at discharge and at home after discharge.
Results: KMC was initiated at health facilities for 87.6% of LBW babies under 2000 g. At discharge, 85.0% received KMC; 67.9% continued to receive KMC at home on the 7th day post-discharge. The interventions included training, mentoring and constant advocacy at many levels: public health facilities, private sector and the community. Innovations like a KMC case sheet, counselling, peer support group triggered KMC in the facilities; a KMC-link card, a microplanning and communication tool for CHWs helped to sustain practice at homes.
Conclusion: The study provides a novel approach to designing and scaling up interventions and suggests lessons that are applicable to KMC as well as to broader reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health programmes.
Keywords: India; Kangaroo Mother Care; implementation research; neonatal mortality; scale-up.
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