World Prematurity Day on 17<Sup>th</Sup> November (Download PDF)

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World Prematurity Day is observed on 17th November to raise awareness of preterm birth and the problems of such babies and their families worldwide. Approximately 15 million babies born preterm each year, account for about one in 10 of all babies born worldwide.

Defining Preterm Birth

Births before 37 completed weeks of gestation or fewer than 259 days since the first day of a woman՚s last menstrual period (WHO, 1977) .

Preterm birth can further sub-divided based on gestational age as following

  • extremely preterm (< 28 weeks) ,
  • very preterm (28 -< 32 weeks)
  • moderate preterm (32 -< 37 completed weeks of gestation) further split to late preterm birth (34 -< 37 completed weeks) .
World Prematurity Day

Why a Special Day for Prematurity?

  • Worldwide, one baby in ten is born premature
  • Largest child patient group with increasing numbers even with total births steadily decreasing.
  • Huge influx of vulnerable newborns with number of so-called “ex-preterm” steadily increasing.
  • Higher risk of learning and behavioural disabilities, cerebral palsy, sensory and motor deficits, infections, chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, or diabetes compared to full term counterpart.
  • Public is only hardly aware of the prevention of preterm birth and the problems and risks involved in the development of a preterm infant.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 17, 2016

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