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World Prematurity Day

premature birthNovember 17th is a very important day and as it is only the second time this day has ever carried so much importance, very few people realise just how significant November 17th is.

November 17th is World Prematurity Day, a day of events and activities organised by over 50 international organisations in order to raise awareness about the global challenge of premature birth.

Know the stats…

  • Every year there are on average 15 million preterm births (before 37 weeks of pregnancy).
  • Approximately 1.1 million of these premature babies die each year.
  • Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal mortality.
  • Globally, preterm birth is the #2 cause of infant mortality (children 5 years old and younger).

Know the history…

  • The first World Prematurity Day was held in 2011 by organisations including: the March of Dimes, the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI), Africa-based Little Big Souls International Foundation and the National Premmie Foundation of Australia.
  • May 2, 2012: Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth was launched and brought more attention to the challenges of premature birth.
  • The 2012 report is linked to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon’s Every Woman Every Child effort.
  • The 2012 report includes 30 new and expanded commitments with respect to the prevention and care of premature babies. These commitments now form part of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.
  • November 13-20, 2012 is the first ever Global Week of Action for Child Survival being held by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) PMNCH’s board member World Vision.premature birth

What is happening around the world?

  • Nations are lighting up their landmarks and buildings in purple to honour preterm babies and their parents.
  • Parent’s marches and workshops are taking place.
  • Posters are being placed at global hospitals and birth centres to raise awareness.

What can I do?

  • Raise awareness by hashtagging #WorldPrematurityDay and #BornTooSoon on Twitter.
  • Today, November 16, 2012 join the global tweet-chat using #WorldPrematurityDay and have your questions answered by experts from around the world.
  • Go to Facebook and like the World Prematurity Day page and engage in their interactive photo and story map.
  • Join the Global Week of Action for Child Survival tweet-chat using #Survive5

Whether you’re expecting, already a mother, have a premature baby or just want to show solidarity for the cause, it’s easy to get involved. So let’s get on Facebook and Twitter and start to make the world a safer and happier place for our children!

Get more information here.

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