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Blog Posts Respond To Report On Premature Births

The March of Dimes Foundation, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, Save the Children, and the WHO on Wednesday released a new report, titled “Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth,” showing that 15 million infants are born prematurely each year, 1.1 million of those infants die, but 75 percent of those deaths are preventable. The following blog posts addressed the report and its findings.

  • Gary Darmstadt et al., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: “[W]hile new approaches are being discovered and developed, this report challenges the global health community to be innovative to accelerate progress to reduce the number of preterm babies. The report also makes clear the good news that the world is coming together increasingly to give preterm babies a chance at survival,” Darmstadt, head of the Gates Foundation’s Family Health Division; Amie Newman, a communications officer and editor for “Impatient Optimists”; and Wendy Prosser, a research analyst with the foundation’s Family Health Division, write (5/2).
  • Tom Murphy, PSI’s “Health Lives”: “[T]he solutions [presented in the report] are relatively simple in theory,” but “[t]he challenge will be implementation,” Murphy, deputy editor of the blog, writes. “Fortunately, the recommended interventions” — such as “[p]roviding health information to mothers, teaching young girls about family planning, and reducing unattended births” — “will all support the health and welfare of women and their children,” he adds (5/2).
  • Craig Rubens, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: “Unfortunately, known prevention measures are not sufficient to have considerable impact on reducing the burden of preterm birth,” Rubens, executive director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS), writes, adding, “Even if every known intervention was implemented on a global scale, only about eight percent of premature births would be prevented, which means there would still be 13.8 million babies born too soon every year. And yet, I’m encouraged by the report because it shines a light on this global crisis and will hopefully prompt new research and discovery” (5/2).

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