World Prematurity Day is observed on 17 November every year, with November month being the ‘Prematurity Awareness Month’.
The day is observed to create awareness on the prevention and management efforts of prematurity and to provide support to families with preterm birth.
The theme is “Born too Soon: Providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place”.
In Bhutan, from a total of about 13,000 total live births, over 1,300 babies are estimated to be preterm. This means, the country has 10 percent of the population that are born too soon.
A release states that over 60 percent of preterm birth occurs in Africa and South Asia. On an average, 12 percent of babies are born preterm in the poorest countries as compared to 9 percent in higher-income countries.
By survival of the preterm births, there is a dramatic gap, in which 90 percent of the extremely preterm babies died within few days after birth in poor countries.
The reasons for the preterm birth includes increase in maternal age and maternal conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, greater use of infertility treatment leading to multiple pregnancies, and changes in obstetric practices resulting in increase in caesarean section.
The review of preterm data indicates that the preterm birth rate has increased in some countries; potentially attributed to better measurements.
There are priority intervention packages and strategic actions for prevention of preterm births and care of premature births.
This year, the World Prematurity Day will be observed on 17 November at Hotel Taj Tashi, Thimphu.