World Prematurity Day

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World Prematurity Day
World Prematurity Day - Civic Centre staircase goes purple! (31058355935).jpg
Lights in Southend-on-Sea in recognition of World Prematurity Day
Official nameWorld Prematurity Day
Also calledWPD
Observed byworldwide
DateNovember 17
Next time17 November 2020 (2020-11-17)
First time2011

World Prematurity Day is observed on 17 November each year to raise awareness of preterm birth and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide.[1] Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year, accounting for about one in 10 of all babies born worldwide.[2] Urgent action is always requested to address preterm birth given that the first country-level estimates show that globally 15 million babies are born too soon and rates are increasing in most countries with reliable time trend data. Preterm birth is critical for progress on Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG) for child survival by 2015 and beyond, and gives added value to maternal health (MDG 5) investments also linking to non-communicable diseases. For preterm babies who survive, the additional burden of prematurity-related disability may affect families and health systems.[3]


The first international awareness day for preterm birth on 17 November was created by European parent organizations in 2008. It has been celebrated as World Prematurity Day since 2011.[4] It has since evolved into a worldwide annual observance.[5]

Parent groups, families, health professionals, politicians, hospitals, organisations and other stakeholders involved in preterm birth observe this day with media campaigns, local events and other activities conducted on local, regional, national or international level to raise awareness among the public. In 2013, WPD was celebrated in over 60 countries.[6]


  1. ^ "World Prematurity Day". WHO/PMNCH. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  2. ^ Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth. World Health Organization.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "World Prematurity Day". EFCNI. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "World Prematurity Day". EFCNI. Retrieved 29 January 2014.

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