World Prematurity Day is November 17th. Since 2011 World Prematurity Day has been observed on 17th November each year to raise awareness of premature birth and the concerns of premature babies and their families worldwide.
15 million babies are born prematurely every year and one million of these will not survive. Sadly, prematurity is the leading cause of death in children under five.
In the UK 1 in 13 babies is born preterm which accounts for about 60,000 babies. Preterm babies have an increased risk of long-term illness and disability, with the severity of the complications depending on how early the baby is born. Thankfully in the UK developments in care have improved survival rates, but there is still a lot of research to do as the cause of most premature births is still unknown, and in less developed countries premature birth is more common and survival rates much worse.
This is why World Prematurity Day on November 17th is so important. It raises awareness of the issues and brings together charities around the world, united in their efforts to reduce premature birth and improve the outcomes for those babies born very early.
Charities like Bliss and Tommy's promote World Prematurity Day on November 17th and during the rest of November.