At the East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-EA), KC is integrated into our primary research studies at select hospitals in Kenya and Uganda. KC is one evidence-based practice within a package of interventions designed to strengthen the quality of care for mothers and preterm babies. PTBi-EA, in partnership with PRONTO International, trains nurses and midwives to promote and support KC with families. Since introducing training, uptake of KC has increased more than 40% across our research sites in both countries.
World Health Organization guidelines currently recommend KC only for clinically stable babies weighing ≤2000g (approximately 4.4 lbs or less). However, Dr. Melissa Morgan, an assistant professor of neonatology at UCSF and PTBi fellowship graduate, recently completed a study at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital in Uganda. She found that KC is also feasible and acceptable for unstable babies ≤2000g. More research is needed to understand the impact of KC on this vulnerable population, but Dr. Morgan's findings suggest that KC could be adopted as a life-saving intervention for the smallest and sickest babies in these settings.