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Improving Availability and Quality of Routine Data for Newborns: Malawi’s experience with kangaroo mother care (KMC)

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Save the Children US

Malawi has systematically scaled up Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for the care of preterm and low-birth-weight (LBW) babies since 2005. However, the absence of a national system of standardized indicators, registers, and reports resulted in limited, poor quality routine data for monitoring availability and uptake of KMC. A pilot effort found challenges with the registers and reporting form. Malawi’s Ministry of Health, with support from Save the Children, developed a national routine reporting system for KMC, including a simplified, user-friendly KMC register and reporting form. They tested the revised registers and reporting forms to include only core indicators, and then revised and finalized the reporting system. These resource summaries the process and shares learning from the experience. Specific lessons from this experience showed that: Leadership of the MoH and early involvement of end-users (facility and HMIS staff) are critical to gain approval and ownership. Prioritize indicators and data elements suitable for routine reporting to minimize reporting issues and help increase data quality. Substantial and sustained additional investments of time for monitoring and analysis, along with building and retaining human resource capacity to do both, is needed to produce useable, quality data and a culture of data use to inform decision making.

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