Sofia Singer ’19, received support from the Handa Center and Center for South Asia to spend last summer interning with Community Empowerment Lab in Uttar Pradesh, India. She presented the findings of her research, Addressing Barriers to Adherence to Kangaroo Mother Care, at the 4th Annual Stanford Global Health Research Convening on February 9, 2018.
The poster abstract follows; the poster preseted is attached below.
Poster Abstract: Addressing Barriers to Adherence to Kangaroo Mother Care in Uttar Pradesh, India
Sofia Singer, Stanford University
Co-authors: Dr. Gary Darmstadt, Associate Dean for Maternal and Child Health, and Professor of Neonatal and Developmental Pediatrics at Stanford’s School of Medicine; Dr. Vishwajeet Kumar, Founder and CEO of Community Empowerment Lab
Uttar Pradesh has the highest rates of infant mortality and prematurity in India. Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), referring to skin to skin care, breastfeeding and respectful care, has been shown to increase infant development and survival 40% more effectively than incubators. However, less than 1% of families practice KMC post-birth. With the support and guidance of Dr. Kumar and the organization Community Empowerment Lab (CEL) based in Lucknow, India, I developed a socioculturally embedded model that addresses recurring barriers to KMC and increases the likelihood of KMC becoming a default mode of care. This model transforms the KMC Unit (a room created by CEL within health facilities for mothers to carryout KMC with their low-weight newborn) into a cooperative spiritual space, in which the mother’s and child’s health is the priority, mothers, families, and community health workers follow sacred processes, and activities are put in place to ensure mothers and families are equipped to effectively carryout KMC in the Unit and once they reach home. This transformed space and experience incorporates the values and lifestyles of families, while posing a contrast to the way mothers and children are treated and cared for in the rest of the health facility. It creates a daily pattern in the Unit for all stakeholders, leading to a routine and ultimately a behavioral norm for KMC. This model was developed by carrying out field interviews, focus groups, and observation in health facilities and households, along with reviewing previous literature and research done by CEL. Through a human-centered design approach, the input of mothers, families, community health workers, and facility staff shaped the results. The model has been and continues to be tested and revised, and is currently being integrated into KMC Units throughout Lucknow and surrounding districts.