“Let them thrive!”- World Prematurity Day 2017

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“Let them thrive!”- World Prematurity Day 2017

Let them thrive!
• Quality of care for the smallest
• Improving care for the smallest
• Respectful care for the smallest

World Prematurity Day is observed on November 17 each year. It aims to raise awareness about the issues associated with preterm birth.

Preterm is defined as babies born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy are completed. There are sub-categories of preterm birth, based on gestational age:
  • extremely preterm (<28 weeks)
  • very preterm (28 to <32 weeks)
  • moderate to late preterm (32 to <37 weeks).
Induction or caesarean birth should not be planned before 39 completed weeks unless medically indicated. (WHO)
World Prematurity Day is an opportunity to call attention to the heavy burden of death and disability and the pain and suffering that preterm birth causes, as well as a chance to talk about solutions. It supports the values and goals of the Every Newborn Action Plan – an initiative of the Every Woman Every Child movement – which mobilizes global multi-sectoral support to save the lives and improve the wellbeing of mothers and their babies. This year the theme is “Let them thrive,” focusing on quality, equity and dignity.- WHO

Premature birth is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide. Babies born too early may have more health issues than babies born on time, and may face long-term health problems that affect the brain, the lungs, hearing or vision. World Prematurity Day on November 17 raises awareness of this serious health crisis. Throughout the month we draw attention to the lifesaving research, treatments and community support made possible when we work together to give every baby a fighting chance.  (Marchofdimes

Read also:  Earthquake and Mental Health (Article by Atul Mishra from Kantipur)

Preterm births rising globally

An estimated 15 million babies are born preterm every year – more than 1 in 10 babies around the world and this number is rising. Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death for children under 5, causing an estimated 1 million deaths in 2015 globally. Many survivors of preterm birth face a lifetime of disability, including learning disabilities and visual and hearing problems.

Preterm birth (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and being small for gestational age, which are the reasons for low-birth-weight (LBW), are also important indirect causes of neonatal deaths. LBW contributes to 60% to 80% of all neonatal deaths. The global prevalence of LBW is 15.5%, which amounts to about 20 million LBW infants born each year, 96.5% of them in developing countries.

Countries can reduce their neonatal and infant mortality rates by improving the care for the mother during pregnancy and childbirth and of LBW infants. Experience from developed and low- and middle-income countries has clearly shown that appropriate care of LBW infants, including their feeding, temperature maintenance, hygienic cord and skin care, and early detection and treatment of infections and complications including respiratory distress syndrome can substantially reduce mortality.  WHO

Preterm Birth Estimates (2015)

Source of Data

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Sagun's Blog is a Public Health Information sharing platform created by Sagun Paudel. The main purpose of this blog is to share public health updates.

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