Rukia was only seven months pregnant when excess fluid in her abdomen forced her to have an emergency C-section at her district hospital in Tanzania. Thankfully, the operation was successful, but her premature son required extra care to ensure he grew and developed like he should.
The health workers helped Rukia learn how to successfully breastfeed and keep her baby warm by wrapping him and maintaining skin-to-skin contact—a technique known as Kangaroo Mother Care. This is a low-cost, high-impact intervention that can make all of the difference in the critical first 24 hours of a child’s life.
Thanks to the health workers and simple, effective solutions like Kangaroo Mother Care, Rukia’s son survived and is now growing stronger. Sadly, this is not always the case. Every day, 15,000 children under the age of 5 die from preventable causes, such as premature birth, pneumonia and malnutrition.
The good news is that with U.S. leadership, the world has reduced these deaths by half since 1990. And Congress has introduced legislation called the Reach Every Mother and Child Act, which would increase access to effective interventions—like Kangaroo Mother Care—that work to prevent maternal and child deaths around the world.
Nearly 120 members of Congress have cosponsored the Reach Act. But we still need you to reach out to your lawmakers and urge them to pass this vital legislation, so children like Rukia’s son can survive and grow to be healthy, happy babies.