The Kangaroo Foundation is working in collaboration with 2 Kangaroo Mother Care Programs: The Kangaroo Mother Care program from the “Clinica del Niño” and the Integral Kangaroo Mother Care program from the San Ignacio Hospital, a Universitary hospital from the Javeriana University. Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) was devised in Colombia more than 20 years ago (1978) by a paediatrician (E. Rey+ 1992) and has emerged as the unic available tool to enhance LBW infants' health care in the world. KMC is an evidence-based technology, centred in the mother as the main provider of heat and stimulation (skin-to-skin contact, i.e. "kangaroo" position), nutrition (maternal milk) and close monitoring after early discharge at home in KMC.
It is a very well suited strategy to address neonatal and infant mortality and morbidity in low technical resources settings: KMC is an effective way to meet the baby's needs for warmth, breastfeeding, protection from infection, stimulation, safety and love. Kangaroo mother care is a process of mothers and families' empowerment facilitated by properly trained health care personnel. Mothers become the major source of care, temperature regulation, and nutrition. Mothers are restored to their role as the natural and main source of human caring contact, love and physical and emotional stimulation. It is a powerful, easy-to-use method to promote the health and wellbeing of small babies which relies on human resources that are at least theoretically always available: mothers, families and basic skilled health care providers. KMC is an efficacious and safe alternative to neonatal minimal care units rationalizing the use of limited human and technical resources in developing countries.
The impact of the "Fundacion Canguro" activities has been remarkable. For instance, thanks to the dissemination of their research activities, and their advocacy, WHO decided to adopt the KMC method as a major strategy to decrease neonatal mortality in LBW infants and the Kangaroo Foundation has been a participant of the set of WHO’KMC guidelines published in 2003 The original components of the intervention (prolonged skin-to-skin contact –kangaroo position-, breast milk based nutrition and early discharge in kangaroo position) have been scientifically tested in observational and experimental studies conducted by the Kangaroo Foundation research group and have been shown to be an effective and safe alternative to caring for LBWI in minimal care units after stabilization of infants conditions. It offers additional advantages, regarding mother’s empowerment and family bonding to the LBWI. Modifications of the technique have been employed and tested under different circumstances.
The major goals pursued with these KMC rules are to promote protective factors for the LBWI’s health, and to control risk factors associated to the premature infant’s survival, growth and development, while meeting high standards of quality and efficiency, and at the same time, humanizing the care of the LBWI
In late 2010, at the request of the Ministry of Social Protection of Colombia and supported by the World Food Programme, the Foundation developed the document "Technical Guidelines for the implementation of Kangaroo Mother Program in Colombia" guidelines that will help guarantee quality of service offered by the existing kangaroo care programs and future of our country.
In 2011, in order to support training efforts for a faster dissemination of Kangaroo Mother Care among health professionals, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, in partnership with the World Food Programme and the Foundation Kangaroo , develop training portal MMC, which was made available to the public in May of 2012. This Portal provides for all professionals who practice the method, a series of high-impact educational tools for professional updating and dissemination of knowledge to other professionals. This will create a stronger national and international network for sharing information and experience in this field of health.