Knowledge of and attitudes towards kangaroo mother care in the Eastern Subdistrict, Cape Town
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Kangaroo mother care (KMC) was first initiated in Colombia due to shortages of incubators and the incidence of severe hospital infections of new-born infants during hospital stay (Feldman, 2004). Currently it is identified by UNICEF as a universally available and biologically sound method of care for all new-borns, particularly for low birth weight infants (Department of Reproductive Health and Research, 2003) in both developed and developing countries. The Western Cape Provincial Government implemented a policy on KMC as part of their strategy to decrease the morbidity and mortality of premature infants in 2003 (Kangaroo Mother Care Provincial task team, 2003). Essential components of KMC are: skin-to-skin contact for 24 hours per day (or as great a part of the day as possible), exclusive breastfeeding and support to the motherinfant dyad. Successful implementation of KMC requires relevant education of nurses, education of mothers on KMC by nursing staff, monitoring of the implementation of KMC by nurses, planning for a staff mix with varying levels of skill and experience with KMC, the identification of institution specific barriers to the implementation of KMC, and the implementation of institution specific strategies to overcome these barriers (Wallin,et al., 2005; Bergman & Jurisco, 1994; Cattaneo, et al., 1998). This study aims to determine the knowledge of and attitude towards kangaroo mother care, of nursing staff and kangaroo mothers in the Eastern sub-district of Cape Town.