Understanding the burden for better action


Prematurity is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 years and is a risk factor in more than half of all neonatal deaths. Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm and 1 million children die each year due to complications of preterm birth and many survivors face a lifetime of ill-health including disability, learning difficulties, visual and hearing problems, and noncommunicable diseases in later life.


Challenge to reach efficient care for premature newborns

The importance of effective interactions with preterm newborns and their families, including dignity and respect during contact care, and the value of parental participation for better outcomes is more and more recognized. Parental presence reassures the new-born. Parents, in an « empowerment » process, are real actors and partners in care for caregivers.

Person-centered models of care, such as nonseparation immediately after birth and during the care process e.g., mother-neonatal intensive care units (NICU), family-integrated care, and kangaroo mother care, are very promising and can address the complex needs of the preterm newborn, family, and health system.

Source: Wolrd Prematurity Day: Improving survival and qualifies of Life for millions of baby Born preterm around the world, Ornella Lincetto and Anshu Banerjee, Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing, Wolrd Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 6 Octobre 2020