Father's experience of Kangaroo Care (KC) in Pakistan
Father experience of Kangaroo Care
The story is a voice of Father Qamaruddin Pusion, whose wife naturally conceived for the first time after 4 years of marriage. There was no boundaries to their happiness. It was simply the greatest event of their life. At 37 weeks of gestation, she gave birth to a baby boy weighing 1.8 Kg at home. People at community said babies with low birth weight don’t survive, they are weak and eventually die of complications.
“As the birth attendant (Dai) told me that baby is low birth weight, I was in shock and did not know what to do. People around started saying he will not survive. We both were stressed.”- Father
Next morning when AKU research team arrived at their home, the baby was lethargic and had cold extremities. The family was counselled for skin-to-skin contact that it would increase the chances of baby’s survival. The team immediately intervened by encouraging mother to breastfeed him and kept baby against mothers’ bare chest with warm sheets. Baby’s color and temperature improved after KMC.
The father was determined that skin-to-skin contact will save his baby. He actively participated and performed KMC. A new universe was unveiled to Mr. Qamaruddin as he performed KMC with his child.
“When I held baby on my bare chest, I could sense him relax and comfortable. I noticed the baby was growing and I was determined to see him survive” said father.
Both mother and father tried to provide maximum hours of KMC to their child. They wrapped and carried him while performing their routine activities.
Figure 2: Parents performed KMC, with their routine work.
By the end of one month, baby weighed 2.8 Kg and after 5 months, he was around 5.3 Kg. The gradual and significant improvement in baby weight brought pleasure and extreme joy among parents, as they could sense their baby surviving against all odds.
“I want the baby to grow so people can know that LBW babies can survive.” Father
The father expressed their deepest gratitude to the concerned team of Aga Khan University for their support. The father has become a mentor and KMC champion. He talks to the male members of his village and encourage them for KMC by sharing his experience.
Dr. Shabina Ariff and her team from Aga Khan University is conducting an implementation trial to improve uptake of KMC at community level. Dr. Shabina is an expert clinician scientist and has led multiple national and international research projects aimed to improve maternal and neonatal health in Pakistan. She has been advocating for community and facility KMC. Presently she is conducting a trial on community at the rural district Dadu, South of Pakistan. The population of the district is marginalized, where majority of births take place at home, and accessibility to basic neonatal care is a major issue. We are implementing this low cost intervention and exploring its impact on newborn survival and breast-feeding practices.