International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Short Communication

Year: 2017 | Month: Aug | Volume: 7 | Issue: 8 | Pages: 364-374

Marketing Skin-To-Skin-Contact in the Kangaroo Position as a Frugal Technology: A No-Cost Way to Support Improved Maternal-Child Health Outcomes across Global Contexts

Nikki L. Rogers1,2, Cristina Redko1,3, Linda J. Smith1,2,4

1Department of Population and Public Health Sciences, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio. (3123 Research Blvd., Suite 200, Dayton, Ohio 45420)
2Breastfeeding Institute at Wright State University, 3Center for Global Health, Wright State University,
A unit within the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.
4Bright Future Lactation Resource Centre, Ltd., Dayton, Ohio. http://www.bflrc.com/6540 Cedarview Court, Dayton OH 45459-1214. This is Linda Smith’s personal business, a domestic limited liability company incorporated in the State of Ohio.

Corresponding Author: Nikki L. Rogers


Background: Long before the 21st century frugal innovation movement, the practice of skin-to-skin contact achieved through the Kangaroo Position described in Kangaroo Mother Care was introduced as a strategy to thermostabilize low birthweight infants without electric incubators and avoid separating mothers and babies.
Discussion: We explain the spectrum of skin-to-skin contact interventions (hospital-based and community-based Kangaroo Mother Care, the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative) to show skin-to-skin contact achieved by the Kangaroo Position as a pioneering frugal solution to address the global health problems of infant mortality and morbidity. We have found no literature formally describing these methods as frugal technologies/innovations. The need to actively promote maternal-infant contact is necessary because separating the mother and baby plus the medicalization and technological focus of birth is the current accepted medical norm. Skin-to-skin contact is an evidence-based best practice that should be promoted as a lower cost, sustainable medical intervention suitable for all newborns and their families across low-, middle-, and high-resource countries. This provides new marketing opportunities for maternal and child health interventions within the framework of frugal technology, fitting skin-to-skin contact and Kangaroo Mother Care within a popular, fundable, 21st century movement.
Conclusion: Adding the concept of frugal technology to discussions of skin-to-skin contact-based interventions is a no-cost way to reach additional stakeholders and address medicine’s cultural bias against low-technology and natural solutions. This reframing can be used to address healthcare system barriers to increase skin-to-skin contact intervention coverage, which is necessary to achieve global goals for infant and maternal health improvement.

Key words: breastfeeding; infant morbidity; infant mortality; frugal technology; maternal-child health; mother-baby dyad.

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