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Ten years after the last report on prematurity, the WHO publishes a new document which underlines that things have not improved.

The report is called “Born too early: a decade of action against premature births” and has just been published by the WHO and Unicef. He reports the figures around prematurity, the first cause of infant mortality in the world, and underlines that since the last analysis on the question, 10 years ago, the figures are still as alarming as the Le Monde report.

In 2020, 13.4 million babies were born prematurely, or one in 10 births. And 1 million of them died. Besides, between 0 and 5 years, one death in 5 would be attributed to the fact of being born before 37 weeks of amenorrhea. In 10 years, the situation has not improved, and has even deteriorated slightly, surely due to the pressure put on health systems due to Covid-19: in 2010, 9.8% of births were premature, compared to 9.9% in 2020.

Lower chances of survival in low-income countries

According to the income, the country in which one gives birth and its origins, the chance of survival of the premature baby is not at all the same, specifies the report. Being born at 6 months gives a 90% chance of living in a high-income country, compared to 10% in a low-income country.

Unfortunately, prematurity primarily affects these countries, such as Pakistan (14.4% of births), Malawi (14.5%) and Bangladesh (16.2%). Generally, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are the most affected. According to the report, air pollution plays an important role in premature births.

Since 2015, no progress has been made in terms of deaths in utero, during childbirth or during the first weeks, whether of the mother or the baby. Arterial hypertension, postpartum hemorrhages or infections are the main causes of these deaths.

Source: The World

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