Kangaroo Mother Care is being used in Bangladesh to keep premature babies alive.
This means holding babies close to their mother’s chest, just like baby kangaroos in their mother’s pouch.
The main problem for low birth-weight babies is hypothermia, but electricity is often unreliable so incubators cannot be relied upon.
In this film we followed one female doctor’s day in a typical rural Bangladesh hospital. Doctor Rafia works in Matlab Hospital in south-east Bangladesh. It is a busy hospital which provides free health care and medicine for pregnant women and children.
Every week, Dr Rafia leaves her husband and young son at home in the capital Dhaka, while she comes to Matlab for her five day shift.
Often she has to confront her patient’s social problems, as well as their medical ones. She often works in a specialist ward where premature babies are kept alive by being held close to the warmth of their mother’s chest.
Premature birth is the main cause of infant death worldwide. Nearly 400,000 babies are born too early every year in Bangladesh. But units like the Kangaroo Ward are the best way to help make sure these tiny babies have a fighting chance.