In Summary

  • On this day, people come together to encourage research related to the concerns of preterm birth
  • Preterm birth is a leading cause of death among children under five,
  • Globally over 15 million infants are born prematurely each year:

Kenya joins the rest of the world in marking World Prematurity Day

This year’s event will be held at Makueni County Referral Hospital under the theme, ‘Small actions, BIG IMPACT: Immediate skin-to-skin care for every baby everywhere.’

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Kangaroo Mother Care

Kenya has been at the forefront of advocating for Kangaroo Mother Care, a simple, free action taken immediately after birth to place the baby in the mother’s arms with skin-to-skin contact.

The intervention is crucial in the care of preterm or low birth weight infants through continuous and prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a parent.

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History Of The Day

World Prematurity Day, celebrated on 17 November, was established by the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) along with partnering European organizations to raise awareness of the challenges of preterm birth and how to manage these most effectively

Preterm birth is a leading cause of death among children under five, with an estimated 15 million babies (one in ten) born prematurely worldwide every year .

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Skin to Skin Contact

Prolonged skin-to-skin contact between parent and infant, promotes breastfeeding, lowers stress levels, and strengthens family bonding.

Recent studies have revealed that skin-to-skin contact can and should be initiated immediately after birth, even before the newborn is considered clinically stable.

Such contact improves thermal regulation, prevents infection, stimulates breast milk production, and yields positive physiological, behavioral, psychosocial, and neurodevelopmental effects while reducing the risk of neonatal mortality by 40 per cent.

Nutrition plays a critical role in supporting optimal growth and development of premature infants. Promising data suggest that nutrition during pregnancy also plays an important role in pregnancy outcomes, with certain nutrients associated with a reduced risk of premature birth



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