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Born Too Soon

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Estimated rates of preterm birth per 100 live births, 2010

PretermRate

NOTE: This is a Google-generated World Map, and the country shapes and borders are not meant to imply any political boundaries. We recognize that there are territories within dispute, and the boundaries, names and designations used on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the March of Dimes or its partners concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning the delimitations of its frontiers or boundaries.

Estimated numbers of preterm births, 2010

PretermRate

NOTE: This is a Google-generated World Map, and the country shapes and borders are not meant to imply any political boundaries. We recognize that there are territories within dispute, and the boundaries, names and designations used on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the March of Dimes or its partners concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning the delimitations of its frontiers or boundaries.

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Everyone has a role to play, even you

Visit Facebook.com/WorldPrematurityDay to learn how you can get involved.

Follow #borntoosoon on twitter to join the conversation on this topic and also participate in the Global Relay TweetChat on Thursday, May 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT, which will bring together experts, professionals, advocates and parents in a conversation around preterm birth.

Organizations can email alliances@marchofdimes.org to learn more about participating in World Prematurity Day.


Download the full report for more detailed information on how each of the following constituencies can further the goal of reducing preterm births and improving child survival.

  • Governments and policy-makers
  • Donor countries and philanthropic institutions
  • United Nations and other multilateral organizations
  • Civil society
  • Business community
  • Health care workers and their professional organizations
  • Academic and research institutions

How governments, policy-makers and other
groups can help


Inform

Educate, engage and mobilize communities about preterm birth and help women understand the importance of early care, beginning in adolescence. Raise awareness of the seriousness of preterm birth in communities and promote the availability of cost-effective solutions. Promote accountability and track progress.

Invest

Focus increased attention on women's health, especially adolescents and mothers, as well as newborns. Advocate for research into ways to prevent preterm birth and how best to treat babies who were born too soon.

Innovate

Develop and test innovative ways to provide essential services to women and newborns, especially premature babies, for prevention and care.

Implement

Strengthen effective, feasible and culturally appropriate community programs to prevent preterm birth and improve the care of premature babies. Offer family support for coping with stillbirth and preterm birth, and long-term support for disability.

The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth

Born Too Soon provides the first-ever comparable country-level estimates for preterm birth in 184 countries. The report shows that preterm birth rates are on the rise in most countries, with the result that preterm birth is now the single most important cause of neonatal deaths (babies under 28 days) and the second leading cause of death in children under 5.

Addressing preterm birth is now an urgent priority for reducing child deaths by 2015 and beyond. This report shows that rapid change is possible and identifies priority actions for everyone.

This inspiring report is a joint effort of 45 authors from 11 countries and almost 50 international organizations that have committed to specific accountable actions in support of strengthening prevention and care. The report, with the co-sponsorship of the March of Dimes, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, Save the Children and the World Health Organization, supports the Every Woman Every Child movement, led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Born Too Soon proposes actions for policy, programs and research by all partners — including government and non-government organizations and the business community — that, if acted upon, will substantially reduce the toll of preterm birth, especially in high-burden countries.

The report contains a foreword by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and is accompanied by more than 30 new commitments to prevention of preterm birth and the care of premature babies, joining more than 200 existing commitments on www.everywomaneverychild.org.

15 million preterm births each year and rising

1.1 million babies die from preterm birth complications

>60% of preterm births occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

5 to 18% is the range of preterm birth rates (per 100 live births) across 184 countries of the world

75% of deaths of premature babies could be prevented with feasible, cost-effective care

15 countries account for two-thirds of the world's preterm births

1.    India
2.    China
3.    Nigeria
4.    Pakistan
5.    Indonesia
6.    United States of America
7.    Bangladesh
8.    Philippines
9.    Dem. Rep. of Congo
10.  Brazil
11.  Ethiopia
12.  United Republic of Tanzania
13.  Uganda
14.  Sudan
15.  Kenya