November is World Prematurity Month

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Did you know that November is Prematurity Awareness Month? While Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) is dedicated year-long to neonatal care and research and community-based efforts to prevent preterm birth, this is a good opportunity to further educate ourselves and make others aware of the global impact of prematurity.

Until recently, premature birth, which affects 15 million babies worldwide, was not recognized as a significant public health priority by international health agencies, governments or donor organizations. The March of Dimes and their global program partners have been at the forefront of the call-to-action on premature birth, the number one cause of death in newborns and children under the age of 5. These and other efforts have not gone unnoticed. At the recent United Nation’s Sustainable Development Summit, world leaders formally adopted an ambitious new agenda to promote shared prosperity and well-being over the next 15 years, including a directive to reduce neonatal and under-5 mortality rates.

In conjunction with World Prematurity Awareness Month, the March of Dimes releases its annual Premature Birth Report Card, a measurement of the country’s and each state’s progress in eliminating preterm birth. Ohio has received a “C” grade the past three years with an unchanged preterm birth rate of 12.1% compared to the national average of 11.4% and the March of Dimes 2020 goal of 9.6%. 2015 report cards will be released on Nov 5. In an effort to reduce prematurity rates, the March of Dimes has established five prematurity research centers throughout the country, including the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center Ohio Collaborative. CCHMC serves as the coordinating site for this state-wide collaborative effort to discover the unknown causes of preterm birth. Cincinnati Children’s is also working hard to reduce prematurity within our local community through the efforts of Cradle Cincinnati.

Throughout the month of November, you may check out World Prematurity related news and information at the March of Dimes WPD site and on the World Prematurity Day Facebook page.

Information provided by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center staff.

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