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The Kangaroo Program at a Brazilian maternity hospital: the preterm/low-weight babies' health-care under examination.

Véras RM, et al. Nurs Inq. 2011.

Abstract

The Kangaroo Program, originally developed in Colombia, was adopted as a public policy by the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS) in 2000, in an effort to improve maternal and infant health in the country. This article aims to examine the Kangaroo Program as it is practiced and carried out at a maternity hospital in the northeastern Brazilian region. Through an institutional ethnographic approach, research demonstrates that the Kangaroo Program has been effective in saving lives and improving some of the infants' health outcomes. However, research also demonstrates that: (i) the socioeconomic profile of mothers in the Kangaroo Program, (ii) conflicting relationships between healthcare workers and users, and (iii) lack of socioeconomic and emotional support are impairing the adequate implementation of the program. Due to the low literacy level of most of these mothers, institutional power is used as a form of social control to keep mothers uninformed about the possibility of leaving the maternity wards. In a two-tier health system, this controlling behavior is part of existing social inequities, as the Kangaroo Program is a choice in the private health system but tends to be mandatory at SUS maternity hospitals across Brazil.

PMID

21281399 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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