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Describing mothers’ compliance to Kangaroo Mother Care at a selected hospital in Southern Malawi.

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Background: Studies have shown that Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is one of the low-cost, effective measures practiced in low income settings to enhance the survival of low birth weight babies. Since its development in 1979 in Bogota, Colombia by Dr. Rey as an incubator alternative in caring for low birthweight (LBW) babies, KMC practice has shown numerous empirically evident advantages over LBW babies’ lives. The success of KMC rests on key players, namely, the mother. However, there are limited investigations of compliance to Kangaroo Mother Care in Malawi targeting key players in KMC practice. Therefore, full involvement in KMC practice by mothers is of significance in facilitating LBW survival in order to yield high LBW babies’ survival rate through total involvement of mothers as significant players. Aim of the study: The aim of this study was to describe mothers’ compliance to Kangaroo Mother Care at a selected hospital in Southern Malawi. A descriptive, quantitative research study was conducted on N=50 KMC mothers who were practising KMC at QECH in Malawi. Data was collected using a questionnaire, which comprised of demographic data and questions pertaining to KMC knowledge, practice and compliance. The data was analysed by SPSS version 24. A central hospital in the Southern Malawi, which is the main teaching hospital for the University of Malawi, College of Medicine. Findings: The study results show that all the KMC mothers had prior knowledge to KMC, which enhanced their KMC compliance. Although 21 (42%) of the KMC mothers initiated KMC late, due to a lack of support from the nurses and family members, 34 (68%) of the KMC mothers were compliant to KMC, as they practised continuous KMC during their hospital stay, and they noticed KMC benefits on their LBW babies, including increased body weight gain. Four (8%) of the KMC mothers managed to put their babies in KMC position for less hours in a day, due to a lack of support in putting the baby in KMC position, and as a result, their LBW babies did not gain any weight, and no other KMC benefits were noticed. Nevertheless, 45 (90%) of the KMC mothers were very eager to continue with KMC practice at home, and 41 (82%) of the mothers emphasised continuing with KMC follow-up care. Due to KMC compliance, mothers witnessed good KMC outcomes, and as such, they were keen on recommending KMC to others. Key Words: LBW globally, LBW in Sub-Saharan countries, KMC practice in Sub-Saharan countries, neonatal mortality, MDGs and SDGs, KMC protocol, KMC compliance and KMC in Malawi.


Master of Nursing. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2016.