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.


    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

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora