The 'kangaroo-method' for treating low birth weight babies in a developing country

Trop Doct. 1994 Apr;24(2):57-60. doi: 10.1177/004947559402400205.


The results of introducing the 'kangaroo method' (constant nursing of the baby skin to skin on the mother's chest), as the exclusive means of treating low birth weight (LBW) babies is reported, in the context of a mission hospital in a developing country without incubators and standard equipment for care of LBW neonates. Details of the method developed are described. The survival of babies born under 1500 g improved from 10% to 50%, whereas that of babies 1500-1999 g improved from 70% to 90%. The method is well accepted by the community, and easily grasped by all hospital staff. Staff expectations concerning survival have dramatically improved, and a considerable saving in workload is experienced. The kangaroo method as described is strongly recommended to all units in developing countries treating LBW babies without modern equipment.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Developing Countries*
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Humans
  • Infant Care / methods*
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care