NeoIPC supports EFCNI’s 2022 World Prematurity Day campaign

November 17, 2022

Each year, on 17 November, we celebrate World Prematurity Day – an important date in the calendar to raise awareness about the challenges of preterm birth, and to honour the preterm born babies and their families.

This year, NeoIPC has joined the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) in their World Prematurity Day campaign. Since 2008, EFCNI and partners have been joining efforts to bring together thousands of individuals and organisations across the globe, with an interest to improve the situation of preterm babies and their families.

According to the World Health Organisation, every baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy is considered preterm. Data show that more than one in 10 babies are born too soon, with preterm birth being the leading contributor to under-5 deaths globally, responsible for almost half of all under-5 deaths in 2021. What’s more, these very fragile and vulnerable newborns are also at high risk of being infected with bacteria from the hospital environment.

The global theme for World Prematurity Day 2022, ‘A parent’s embrace: a powerful therapy. Enable skin-to-skin contact from the moment of birth’, was a wonderful occasion to shed light on Kangaroo Care and skin-to-skin contact. Kangaroo Care is one of the most simple yet powerful treatments a mother or father can provide their newborn: it is the prolonged skin-to-skin contact with the parent for 8-24 hours a day. Some of the well-documented benefits of Kangaroo Care for a newborn include a reduced risk of neonatal mortality by 40%, infection/sepsis by 65%, and hypothermia by 72%.

Through the NeoIPC project, we want to raise awareness of Kangaroo Care so that more NICUs in hospitals from both low- and high-income settings become aware of the benefits of a parent’s touch. Our hope is to implement more low-cost and simple interventions to prevent transmissions and infections with hospital bacteria in newborns.

Read some of our Tweets from the #WorldPrematurityDay2022 campaign.