INFOGRAPHIC: Boost for fight against preterm births

Premature birth is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide.

On 17 November, the world marks Prematurity day with the aim of imparting knowledge to global citizens on the phenomenon and to rally support for the fourth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) which is to halve the under-five mortality rate between the years 2010 and 2025.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 15 million babies are born preterm worldwide and more than a million die as a result.

Babies who survive are said to often have lifelong health problems such as cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities.

Locally, 15% of all births, which equates to one in seven babies, are born preterm.

ALSO READ: Support parents with premature babies

The Newborns Groote Schuur Trust has established the “wear purple for preemies initiative” which is supported by Huggies.

The trust ensures premature babies in the country receive the best possible care.

Huggies encouraged South Africans to wear purple and to purchase the official R10 world prematurity day sticker at Toys R Us nationwide as a fund raising effort to care for premature babies.

“Moms should be aware of information related to medical conditions which could result in preterm labour and educate themselves on the signs of early labour. It is crucial to consult with a midwife or obstetrician as in many instances preterm labour can be halted,” said midwife Lynne Bluff.

“It is important to realise that in the majority of premature births, there is nothing a mom could have done to prevent it however expectant moms should take care of themselves during pregnancy by:

– having regular, sound antenatal care at the recommended stages of gestation,

– managing weight gain. The average weight gain over the course of a pregnancy is about 12kg, and

– visiting a dentist at least once during pregnancy and brushing their teeth at least twice a day and flossing. Infected gums produce prostaglandins, the same hormones that initiate labour.

Call the Trust on 021-404-6023/5 or 082-884-6233 or email [email protected] to place an order for the stickers or to find out where to buy one.


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Felicia Nkhwashu

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