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Cameroon Kangaroo Mother Care Development Impact Bond
2019 - 2021
Using the innovative Development Impact Bond model to enable scaling up Kangaroo Mother Care programs in Cameroon to improve the lives of low birthweight and preterm babies.
Scaling up kangaroo mother care
Being born too small or too early are leading causes of death of children under five in Cameroon.
Kangaroo mother care (KMC) is a proven practice recommended for preterm or low birthweight babies that involves holding the baby skin-to-skin on the mother’s or other family member’s chest, ideally feeding them only breastmilk, and having close follow-up care of the mother and baby once they return home.
Cameroon is committed to scaling up KMC, but lacks the infrastructure, equipment, staff knowledge and management support to deliver this lifesaving practice at its hospitals.
Cameroon KMC Development Impact Bond
With support from NLIFT and others, quality KMC will be scaled up to 10 hospitals across Cameroon.
The NLIFT investment is critical to launching the Cameroon KMC Development Impact Bond—the first ever in the field of nutrition.
Development impact bonds (DIB) are entirely focused on outcomes.
The KMC DIB investor provided start-up funds to strengthen hospital infrastructure, equipment, staff knowledge and management needed to deliver quality KMC across Cameroon. This start-up capital is returned to the KMC DIB investor by its outcome funders only if a set of independently evaluated targets are met.
Many countries, including Cameroon, lack the resources, technical expertise and training to implement quality KMC at scale. The “pay-for-success” DIB model is an innovative way to fill this gap.
Nutrition International, together with the Government of Cameroon, will pay for success, defined as pre-determined quality KMC practices, as well as infrastructure indicators.
The NLIFT investment will leverage the DIB’s robust and frequent data collection and analysis to:
This investment has improved the health and nutrition outcomes for low birthweight and premature babies, including through the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding. It will also expand quality KMC throughout Cameroon’s public healthcare system and provide evidence of the success of using the DIB model to implement and scale up quality KMC in other countries with high infant mortality and morbidity.