Hypothermia prevention in low birthweight and preterm infants
Mufaro Kanyangarara, PhD
BACKGROUND: Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) has been shown to reduce hypothermia, neonatal infections and neonatal mortality, while improving weight gain and mother-infant attachment; however, implementation to scale has been slow. The BEMPU® bracelet offers the opportunity to monitor the body temperature of newborns for the early detection of hypothermia and to increase the uptake of KMC. GAP: Further research is needed to evaluate the impact of the BEMPU® bracelet on KMC practices and neonatal health outcomes and facilitate its adoption in low-resource settings. HYPOTHESIS: We hypothesize that health providers and caregivers of low birth weight infants in Ghana will find the bracelet to be acceptable, and that greater improvements in KMC practices and neonatal health outcomes will be observed in low birth weight infants receiving the BEMPU® bracelet in addition to KMC compared to infants receiving KMC alone. METHODS: The study consists of qualitative interviews with caregivers and health providers of LBW and preterm infants to determine the acceptability of the BEMPU® bracelet; and a multicenter, non-blinded randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of the BEMPU® bracelet on KMC practices and neonatal health outcomes among LBW and preterm infants. RESULTS: Pending. IMPACT: Evidence of high acceptability and a significant impact of the BEMPU bracelet will provide critical evidence to facilitate prompt identification of hypothermia, maximize the benefits of KMC, reduce neonatal mortality in a resource limited settings.