When discussing World Prematurity Day, I am thankful I live in a first world country to take care of the babies. With the latest medicine and technology more and more premature babies are able to survive and thrive in today’s world. Having a family member who was born 2 months early, I know how scary it is to have a premature baby enter the world. Not all countries in the world are as lucky, and that is why I find it important to observe World Prematurity Day on November 17th.
Did you know that around 15 million babies are born prematurely every year? That number is far too huge if you ask me. This is about one in every ten babies born each year. So, if you know ten pregnant women, one of them is going to have a premature baby according to the statistics. Sometimes this can be prevented, while other times it isn’t. About 39 countries are able to cut down 58000 premature births with modern medicine and better equipment. Now, we just need to get other countries on board so we can dwindle that number down to less than a million.
What to do? What to do? Well, that is quite easy: educate, educate, educate. You need to teach the people around you about World Prematurity Day so those who are pregnant, or trying to become pregnant, have a safer pregnancy. To do this, talk to your township or city about an educational observance day on the 17th or around then. Tell them it is World Prematurity Day and what it means to you. Whether you had a premature baby, or you were one yourself, then you want others to know what it means. Create your own pamphlets, or go online and find some on there that will educate the public. If you are brave enough, then conduct the seminar yourself. I know at my local library, there is a room in which offers public speaking area for those of the community. This is a great place to hold a discussion about World Prematurity Day.
Another thing to do is contact your newspaper. They are the ones who get the word out. Make sure it is in a popular newspaper edition like Friday or Sunday. With a Friday paper, people will see what is going on during the weekend, while with a Sunday paper, more people are likely to purchase and read the paper. In your article, discuss World Prematurity Day. Ask for those in the community to donate money towards the cause. Educate them on the modern medicine and technology that we American’s have, and how collecting money will help to purchase this equipment and medicine for countries that are not as fortunate. Attach a picture of a premature baby to help the people visualize what World Prematurity Day is all about. Most will be thankful that it is not their family, and some will open their wallets and help.
If you are a medical professional, why don’t you reach out to one of these nations that are in need of these supplies? You can help shed some light on the dangers of premature births and bring some medicine and information to the areas that are not as well equipped. Many times, when I think of places with premature babies, I think of small African countries that do not have the money, wealth or education that other places do. It is not because they are not as intelligent, it is because they do not have the same resources that we have. As a doctor or nurse, you are able to help with that.
Having lived in another country for a few years, I learned about how they gave birth as opposed to how American’s give birth. It hit me that we are more advanced than other first world countries. Where I lived, they gave birth with a midwife. A doctor only was there if something went wrong. I know I would feel more comfortable if the doctor was there the entire time. Perhaps this is one of the reasons there are so many premature deaths out there; they do not use the proper medical people. Not to say that a midwife is not fully capable, but they do not have the same education and training that a doctor has. This is prevention.
So, there you have it, World Prematurity Day. Educate yourself, educate those around you, and spread the word as much as you can. Prevention is key, and with women becoming pregnant every day, they need to know about safety and healthy births. As annoying as it can be to carry a baby inside of you for 9 months, you will be happy when they are born full term rather than premature. Believe me. Be sure to post photos and follow the event on social media with #givethemtomorrow, #worldprematurityday and #WPD .