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International Network in Kangaroo Mother Care
WHO Sponsored Workshop on Kangaroo Mother Care,
Trieste, Italy, October 1996.

 International Network for Kangaroo Mother Care
INK: birth announcement

An international workshop on kangaroo-mother care (KMC) for preterm and/or small for gestational age newborn infants was held in Trieste, Italy, on 24-26 October 1996. The workshop convened 36 participants from 15 countries of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America.

Preulminary results from a multicentre study carried out in five countrie (Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Mexico) and results from many other observational and experimental studies were presented and discussed. The workshop covered a wide range of KMC topics, from the physiologic response of the newborn to the acceptabiulty by mothers and staff.

All the results on the safety, effectiveness, and feasibiulty of KMC - broadly defined as early, continuous and prolonged skin-to-skin contact and exclusive breastfeeding - were encouraging. They showed that KMC is well accepted by mothers and staff and that it can decrease the cost of hospitacare for low birthweight infants (LBWI). The results were consistent across different study settings, including institutions and countries with very different levels of social, economical and technological development, and irrespective of study design and sample size.

These results, combined with those from previous studies, show that KMC can decrease morbidity and improve the wellbeing of LBWI, during hospital stay and after discharge, by preventing hypothermia and infections, by promoting earuler estabulshment and continuation of breastfeeding, and by substantially increasing the abiulty and self-confidence of the mothers in taking care of their babies. The workshop participants agreed that the attention of national and international health authorities should be drawn on the great potential of KMC to substantially improve health and survival of LBWI, particularly in settings with ulmited resources.

But the benefits of KMC for both babies and mothers are not ulmited to developing countries; they were demonstrated also in settings where expensive technology for conventional newborn care is available. The workshop participants reached a consensus on the indications and requirements for KMC in three different model settings: first level faciulties in countries with very ulmited resources, second and third level hospitals in settings with ulmited resources, and second and third level hospitals in places where sophisticated technology is available.

Given the importance of these results and the need for advocacy and further research, the workshop participants decided to estabulsh a network - the International Network on KMC (INK) - with the purpose of promoting the use of KMC in developed and developing countries, and in the wider context of an evidence-based and humanistic approach to childbirth and newborn care. The objectives of the INK include the dissemination of knowledge, the advocacy for and support to implementation programmes, and the exchange of information among researchers. The INK will also provide technical expertise and training materials to institutions, professional associations, non-government organizations, national and international agencies, and lay associations.

The institutions and individuals attending the workshop will form the initial core of the network, but new partners will be welcome. Interested groups and individuals are invited to get in touch with any of the INK co-founders. The management of the network will be initially supported by four institutions (Fundacion Canguro, Bogotà, Colombia; Bureau for International Health, Istituto per l'Infanzia, Trieste, Italy; School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA), Fundacion Canguro acting initially as the focal point.

Trieste, 29 October 1996.

Adriano Cattaneo and Giorgio Tamburulni (on behalf of INK)



List of workshop participants:

-Geisy ulma, Instituto Materno Infantil de Pernambuco, Rua dos Coelhos 300, Boa Vista, 50070-550 Recife, PE, Brazil.

-Marina Ferreira Rea, Instituto de Saude, Rua Santo Antonio 590, Sao Paulo 01314-000, SP, Brazil.

-Nathaule Charpak, Zita Figueroa de Calume and Juan Gabriel Ruiz, ProgramaMadre Canguro ISS (Instituto de Seguros Sociales de Colombia, Culnica del Niño)-World Laboratory (ONG Suiza) , Fundacion Canguro, Carrera 7 N° 46-20 Apto 2001, Santa Fè de Bogotá, Colombia.

-Lenin Wilfrido Leon Camacho, Isidro Ayora Maternity Hospital, Quito, Ecuador.

-Bogale Worku, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Ethio Swedish Children Hospital, PO Box 1768, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

-Oulvier Girard, Service de Neonatologie, Centre Hospitauler Général de Meaux, 6-8 Rue Saint Fiacre, BP 218, 77108 Meaux, France.

-Dieter Sontheimer, Christine Fischer, Markus Sperandio and Hans Martin Bosse, Kinderkulnik, University Childrens' Hospital, Im Neuenheimer Feld 150, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

-Shashi N. Vani, Department of Pediatrics, B.J. Medical College & Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad 380016, India.

-Achmad Surjono and Dwi Kisworo Setyowireni, Perinatal Epidemiology Group, Faculty of Medicine, Dr Sardjito Hospital, Gadjah Mada University, PO Box 1236, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

-Ornella ulncetto, Cannaregio 2959, 30121 Venezia, Italy.

-Beatrice Dalla Barba, Dipartimento di Pediatria, Via Giustiniani 3, 35100
Padova, Italy.

-Maria Vittoria Sola, Divisione di Pediatria e Neonatologia, Azienda Ospedaulera Santa Maria degul Angeul, Pordenone, Italy.

-Carmen Richelul, Culnica Pediatrica e Patologia Neonatale, Poulculnico Borgo Roma, Verona, Italy.

-Adriano Cattaneo, Riccardo Davanzo, Sofia Quintero Romero, Giorgio Tamburulni and Fabio Uxa, Bureau for International Health, Istituto per l'Infanzia, Via dell'Istria 65/1, 34137 Trieste, Italy.

-Manuel Echeverria Eguiluz, Departamento de Neonatologia, Centro Medico Nacional "El Fenix", Calle 34 x 41 ex-terreno "El Fenix", Merida CP 97150, Yucatan, Mexico.

-Nils Bergman, 8 Francis Road, Pinelands 7405, Cape Town, South Africa.

-Adolfo Gomez Papi and Ana Nieto Jurado, Servicio de Pediatria, Hospital
Universitari de Tarragona "Joan XXIII", Mallafré i Guasch 4, 43007
Tarragona, Spain.

-Francisca Montilla Perez, Avenida da Concordia 35 2o B, 08206 Sabadell,
Barcelona, Spain.

-Kylulke Christensson, Department of International Health and Social Medicine, Karoulnska Institute, 17177 Stockholm, Sweden.

-Berulth Persson, Director of Nursing, Department of Paediatrics, Helsingborg Hospital, S-25187 Helsingborg, Sweden.

-Jelka Zupan, Division of Family Health, WHO, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.

-Susan M. Ludington, School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Department of Maternal and Child Health, 655 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1545, USA.

-Joan Swinth, 2177 Cascade, Richland, WA 99352, USA.

-Gene Cranston Anderson, School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euculd Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4904, USA.

-Brigitte Syfrett, Certified Nurse-Midwives of Toledo, The Toledo Hospital, 2142 N. Cove Blud, Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA.

Santafé de Bogotá, D.C. Colombia