Nurturing care: How caregiving can save lives

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Photo: NIPI.

One quarter of the world’s neonatal deaths happens in India. The care and nurturing of newborns is crucial to give babies a healthy start on their lives. An Indian governmental project has saved many newborns with a simple method: Including the parents in the care of their sick baby.

At the recently concluded 71st World Health Assembly, The Government of India shared the remarkable success of the Family Participatory Care (FPC), a low cost healthcare intervention promoted by the National Health Mission, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The FPC’s methods are simple: To involve and encourage parents to care for their sick newborn, protect the baby from separation from its parents, and emphasizing the importance of love and affection to improve the baby’s health. By mentoring parents and families on responsible caregiving to mothers and newborns, FPC has shown progress in the growth and development of premature sick newborns. 

The Jhpiego New Born project team implemented the FPC’s innovative model as a collaboration between the Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI), Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and State Health Societies. FPC was implemented in five district Special New born care Units (SNCUs) in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan. In Phase III of NIPI, Jhpiego will support the expansion of FPC in aspirational districts in India.

Read the successful scale up of Family Participatory Care in India on the WHO website.