The World Health Organization published a document entitled “Born too early – a report on global action against premature birth“. It deals with the problem of child diseases and high mortality.
The report says that every year 1.1 million prematurely born children die, but an inexpensive treatment could help 75% of them to survive. At the same time, about 15 million (more than one in ten) children in the world are born prematurely and with physical or neurological disorders. Joy Lawn, MD, PhD, one of the editors of the report and the director of the Global Data and politics department of the Save the Children organization claimed that premature birth was an unrecognized cause of death. Premature birth is the cause for nearly half of all infant deaths in the world and is currently the second largest, after the pneumonia, cause of death among the children under five.
According to the experts, three-quarters of the children from this category could survive without expensive care, if a few proven and low-cost kinds of treatments and prevention were available all over the world. Noteworthy, the problem of premature birth rates exceeding 15% is urgent not only in developing countries (South Asia and Africa), but also in countries like the U.S. and Brazil.
The largest number of premature birth cases in a year was registered in India– 3.519.100; China– 1.172,300, Nigeria- 773.600, Pakistan- 748.100, Indonesia- 675.700; USA- 517.400.
The experts emphasize that the causes for high infant mortality are not only the greater age of women giving birth, an extensive use of infertility drugs, leading to multiple pregnancies; infections, the unjustified from the medical point of view premature labor induction and caesarean section, but also the popularity of home births (50 million worldwide annually).