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Saumya Khandelwal

Inside New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, just born twins nestle against the skin of their aunt Neerja Kumari, while their mother, Sunita, recuperates. Kangaroo mother care—attending to newborns while they rest skin-to-skin against the mother or a surrogate—is well known, especially in developing countries, as a way to strengthen fragile low-birth-weight babies. A recent study coordinated by the World Health Organization at Safdarjung and four African hospitals found that kangaroo care is even more effective when it’s nearly continuous and starts immediately after birth, rather than for a few hours a day after the baby is judged stable. Researchers estimate this approach could save 150,000 lives a year.

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