• Kangaroo mother care;
  • Low-birth-weight;
  • Mortality;
  • Randomized controlled trial;
  • Resource-limited country


Aim:  The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of earlier continuous Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for relatively stable low-birth-weight (LBW) infants in a resource-limited country.

Methods:  A randomized controlled trial was performed in LBW infants at a referral hospital in Madagascar. Earlier continuous KMC (intervention) was begun as soon as possible, within 24 h postbirth, and later continuous KMC (control: conventional care) was begun after complete stabilization (generally after 24 h postbirth). Main outcome measure was mortality during the first 28 days postbirth. This trial was registered with, NCT00531492.

Results:  A total of 73 infants (intervention 37, control 36) were included. Earlier continuous KMC had higher but no statistically different mortality in the first 28 days postbirth (1 vs. 2; risk ratio, 1.95; 95% CIs, 0.18–20.53; p = 1.00). There were no differences in incidence of morbidities. Body weight loss from birth to 24 h postbirth was significantly less in earlier KMC infants compared with later KMC infants. (−34.81 g vs. −73.97 g; mean difference, 39.16 g; 95% CIs, 10.30–68.03; p = 0.01; adjusted p = 0.02). Adverse events and duration of hospitalization were not different between the two groups.

Conclusions:  Further evaluations of earlier continuous KMC including measurement of KMC dose, are needed in resource-limited countries.