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​The kangaroo mothers of Senegal

In the cream-coloured ward of Albert-Royer Paediatric Hospital in Dakar three mothers were resting skin against skin with their prematurely born babies who sleep settled on their breast. Holes have been made in the shirts of the women from which the tiny heads of the newborn babies peep out – as from exquisite marsupia.

They are the “kangaroo mothers” reported by Rémi Barroux in Le Monde, a French daily. This method, first perfected in Colombia in 1983 by two paediatricians, Rey and Martinez, is an alternative to incubators. The marvellous demonstration of how nature still continues to be a powerful alternative to the prevalent technology is a serious, well-founded solution that costs nothing. An effort of patience and immobility is of course asked of these kangaroo mothers. However the results, the doctors guarantee, are unquestionable. In their marsupia the babies grow stronger before one’s very eyes.

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St. Peter’s Square

Aug. 18, 2019

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