17 November 2017

For all preemies to survive and thrive

Fifteen million babies are born prematurely each year, with nearly a million of them not surviving to celebrate their first birthday. Preterm birth—when babies are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy—is the leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age. Preemie babies are at a higher risk for birth complications and defects, such as visual or hearing impairment, as well as brain and lung issues.

Preterm birth rate in 184 countries surveyed ranges from 5 to 18 per cent of the babies. The percentages have risen since 2016, with only 15 countries accounting for two-thirds of the total number preterm births.

Click to see your country’s Premature Birth Rate.

This World Prematurity Day, November 17, we must not only support those who suffer or have suffered from the pain, loss and difficulties associated with preterm birth, but also find solutions, including through Every Woman Every Child partners efforts and the Every Newborn Action Plan, which mobilizes global support to improve the health and well-being of preterm babies and their mothers.

Under this year’s theme,“Let them thrive!” let’s make every effort to allow preterm babies to not only survive, but also thrive to grow strong and healthy to achieve their full potential.

See what you can do for World Prematurity Day.

Learn more about care of preterms and low-birth-weight newborns.