Kangaroo Mother Care Units: A Beacon of Hope for Premature Babies in Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire is taking a major leap forward in improving newborn care with the inauguration of the Kangaroo Mother Care Unit (KMCU) National Reference Center at the Treichville University Hospital Center (CHU) on February 29th, 2024.

This significant development, supported by the French Muskoka Fund and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), offers a beacon of hope for premature and low birth weight babies in the country.

A State-of-the-Art Facility for Advanced Care:

The newly inaugurated KMCU National Reference Center is a testament to Côte d'Ivoire's commitment to improving the health of its most vulnerable population groups. This state-of-the-art facility boasts a capacity of 25 beds, equipped with the latest resources and technologies necessary to provide advanced care for premature and low birth weight newborns. Notably, the center's construction and implementation were made possible with over 301.5 million FCFA from the French Muskoka Fund, with UNICEF providing crucial technical and financial support.

The Power of Kangaroo Mother Care:

The KMCU National Reference Center will serve as a crucial hub for promoting and implementing the Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) method. This innovative and effective approach involves placing the newborn skin-to-skin on the mother's chest for extended periods, offering a range of health benefits like improved warmth, weight gain, and emotional development for premature and low birth weight babies.

Minister Pierre Dimba, the Minister of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Health Coverage (CMU), emphasized the significance of KMC during the inauguration ceremony:

"The KMC method is an innovative and effective approach for the management of premature and low-weight newborns. This method offers clear health benefits to these fragile babies, contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030."

Building on Success and Collaboration:

Since its adoption in 2019, Côte d'Ivoire has witnessed remarkable progress in implementing the KMC method. The country has successfully established 15 KMC units across Abidjan and other regions, providing care to over 4,278 premature and low birth weight babies with an impressive success rate of 91%.

Celebrating the Achievements and Looking Ahead:

The inauguration of the KMCU National Reference Center marks a significant milestone in Côte d'Ivoire's journey towards improved newborn care. The dedication and collaboration of the government, UNICEF, and France have been instrumental in achieving this success.

Gilles Fagninou, the UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, commended the government's efforts and expressed continued support:

"We warmly congratulate the government of Côte d'Ivoire for its results and express the availability of UNICEF to continue frank collaboration to achieve the targets set by the SDGs."

Echoing these sentiments, the French Ambassador to Côte d'Ivoire, Jean-Christophe Belliard, applauded the initiative's focus on improving the health of vulnerable populations:

"This donation demonstrates the government's desire to contribute to improving the health of the Ivorian population, especially that of the most vulnerable groups and mothers."

The KMCU National Reference Center serves as a powerful symbol of Côte d'Ivoire's commitment to providing quality healthcare to its most vulnerable citizens. As the country strives to achieve the SDGs by 2030, continued investment in KMC units and close collaboration with international partners will be crucial in ensuring a healthier future for all newborns, especially those born prematurely or with low birth weight.

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