News / Health

Report: Pre-Term Birth is Greatest Risk for Babies

Newborn baby Makenzie, daughter of Stephanie Sanchez, 25, and Kenneth Vega, is wheeled to a nursery after she was born at 10:25am at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York (October 2011 file photo) Newborn baby Makenzie, daughter of Stephanie Sanchez, 25, and Kenneth Vega, is wheeled to a nursery after she was born at 10:25am at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York (October 2011 file photo)
x
Newborn baby Makenzie, daughter of Stephanie Sanchez, 25, and Kenneth Vega, is wheeled to a nursery after she was born at 10:25am at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York (October 2011 file photo)
Newborn baby Makenzie, daughter of Stephanie Sanchez, 25, and Kenneth Vega, is wheeled to a nursery after she was born at 10:25am at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York (October 2011 file photo)
More than one million premature babies die each year. Yet experts say 75 percent of these tiny babies could live if they and their mothers received the right kind of care.  The new report is not meant to be just a list of facts, but the start of a global health movement.

New Report Finds Pre-Term Birth is Greatest Risk for Newbornsi
|| 0:00:00
X
Carol Pearson
May 10, 2012 10:40 AM
More than one million premature babies die each year. Yet experts say 75 percent of these tiny babies could live if they and their mothers received the right kind of care. VOA's Carol Pearson has more on a new report that is not meant to be just a list of facts, but the start of a global health movement.

Henry, a beautiful baby, was in his mother's womb for just 26 weeks - far short of the normal gestation period of 40 weeks. Henry came into the world weighing just under 1,000 grams, at a hospital prepared to care for him. Yet parents Sara and Paul Raak describe the experience as "scary."

 Sara acknowledges that, without the help Henry received, the outcome could have been very different.
 
"He would not have survived. There's not a doubt. He would not have survived. There are too many things that weren't developed when he was born, especially his lungs," she says.

Before birth, Henry got steroids to help his lungs develop. After birth, a ventilator helped him breathe.

Henry is one of 15 million premature babies born in 2010, according to a new report called "Born Too Soon."

Experts from U.N. agencies, universities and organizations like the March of Dimes and Save the Children contributed to the report, which sets out exactly what is known about pre-term birth, its causes, and the kinds of care these babies need.

"The news out of this report is that this is the first time that we know how many babies around the world are born pre-term," explains Dr. Joy Lawn, one of the co-authors.

The report also shows that pre-term birth accounts for almost half of newborn deaths worldwide. And it documents a huge survival gap between rich countries and poor ones, says Christopher Howson, another co-author.

"If you look at babies born at less than 28 weeks in sub-Saharan Africa for example, their chances of dying within the first few days of life are 90 percent," explains March of Dimes' Howson. "The chance of surviving for the same baby being born in a rich country is 90 percent." 

Many of these infants could survive with inexpensive techniques. One of the most effective practices is something called "kangaroo care," where the infant is strapped to the mother's chest. The baby stays warm and tends to nurse more often. 

"Born Too Soon" shows that the number of pre-term babies is rising - no one knows why - but the report's goal is to spur governments and researchers to find ways to reduce that number and to provide those who are born too soon with all the possibilities that Henry Raak has to live a normal and healthy life.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid