Health Promotion and Advocacy Working Group
World Prematurity Day Primer
Premature birth means a baby is born too early. Babies aren’t fully developed until at least 39 weeks of pregnancy. It is known that the development of the brains, lungs and eyes occur in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Worldwide, one baby in ten is born premature: Every year, about 15 million children are born too early. Thus, preterm babies represent the largest child patient group and their number continues to increase (1).
In order to promote awareness about preterm births, as well as the problems and risks on the development of the premature infant, various international organizations such as the March of Dimes and European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) have declared November 17 as the World Prematurity Day.