A Brief History of Kangaroo Mother Care
in the Philippines
KMC in the Philippines was initially adopted at the neonatal care unit of Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in 1999, after Dr. Socorro De Leon-Mendoza received training in Bogota, Colombia. To date, the KMC program of the hospital has helped not only in maintaining a higher survival rate of infants but also in propagating sustained breastfeeding among mothers. Upon Dr. Mendoza's retirement from government service, she and several like-minded professionals, decided other areas in the Philippines would benefit greatly from KMC. Thus the Kangaroo Mother Care Foundation Philippines, Inc. was established in 2008. The Foundation's goal is to develop, monitor, and accredit KMC centers and also encourage the continued application of KMC as a standard practice in neonatal care. As of 2014, besides the Fabella Hospital in Manila, the Foundation was instrumental in the development of 21 KMC Centers of training and excellence which have all been recognized by the Department of Health. In the same year, KMC was incorporated into the Care for Small Baby package of interventions by the Department of Health.
Not all areas in the world have resources to provide technical intervention and health care workers for premature and low weight babies. In 1978, due to increasing morbidity and mortality rates in the Instituto Materno Infantil NICU in Bogotá, Colombia, Dr. Edgar Rey Sanabria, Professor of Neonatology at Department of Paediatry - Universidad Nacional de Colombia, introduced a method to alleviate the shortage of caregivers and lack of resources. He suggested that mothers have continuous skin-to-skin contact with their low birth weight babies to keep them warm and to give exclusive breastfeeding as they needed. This freed up overcrowded incubator space and caregivers.
Another feature of kangaroo care was early discharge in the kangaroo position despite prematurity. It has been proven successful in improving survival rates of premature and low birth weight newborns and in lowering the risks of nosocomial infection, severe illness, and lower respiratory tract disease (Conde-Agudelo, Diaz-Rossello, & Belizan, 2003). It also increased exclusive breastfeeding for a longer duration and improved maternal satisfaction and confidence.
VISION & MISSION
All low birth weight babies primed to their fullest potential through Kangaroo Mother Care.
We are a recognized group of professionals committed to embracing every newborn's right to a healthy life through Kangaroo Mother Care by:
Using creative training, education, and development
Advocating its adoption as the standard of care for all low-birth-weight infants
Nurturing the infant by involving the family and the community