What is World Prematurity Day?
World Prematurity Day is held on the on Tuesday 17 November and is one of the most important days in the year to raise awareness of preterm birth globally. The day was initiated by EFCNI and partnering European parent organisations in 2008. In 2010, the US organisation March of Dimes, African organisation LittleBigSouls, the Australian National Premmie Foundation and EFCNI joined together to celebrate this special day. Since then countless individuals and organisations from over 100 countries have joined forces to make World Prematurity Day one that is celebrated across the globe with activities and special events to help raise awareness and support to improve outcomes for preterm babies and their families.
Why the day is important
- An estimated 15 million babies are born preterm every year – more than 1 in 10 babies around the world.
- Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death for children under 5, causing an estimated 1 million deaths in 2015 globally.
- Rates of preterm birth are rising in the majority of countries with adequate data.
- Across 184 countries, the rate of preterm birth ranges from 5% to 18% of babies born.
(World Health Organization, key facts preterm birth (02/2018)
Get your purple on for Prems
The colour purple has become synonymous with World Prematurity Day. We ask people to join in to raise awareness of this global problem by wearing, eating, or sharing something purple!
On 17 November each year for World Prematurity Day:
- Buildings across the world are lit up in colour to show their support for the day and help raise awareness for Prematurity.
- Hospitals and parent groups often get together and celebrate with a morning tea (including cookies with purple icing).
- People dress up in purple to show their support by wearing purple. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a ribbon in your hair, something purple on your baby’s pram or cot, or going the fully purple, your participation matters!
- Share on social. We also ask parents of preterm infants to share their stories on this facebook, and why supporting this day matters to them. Please use #EFCNI #WorldPrematurityDay.
- Be part of the wave of light. Across the Australia many families light a candle at 7 pm to honour and remember all of the babies and their families who have been touched by prematurity.
World Prematurity Day. A day of change.
This year’s World Prematurity Day slogan is World Prematurity Day 2020: Together for babies born too soon – Caring for the future.
Whether you are a parent organisation, hospital, non-profit organisation, healthcare professional, society, company, politician, media or an individual, we warmly invite you all to join us as together we celebrate this day through activities and events to help raise awareness and influence change.
Flash back to 2016 when we held morning teas for World Prematurity Day at the Royal Women’s Hospital and Monash Medical Centre (before there was the Monash Children’s Hospital). It was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with families on this special day and we look forward to being able to run events in hospitals again when it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, let’s all connect online!
Make your own World Prematurity Day treats.
Simply follow the recipe and instructions for Blue & Ruby Cake Art’s Vanilla Bean Cookies and add a splash of purple, whether it’s a small purple baby item (see the photo above for inspiration) or go the full purple icing! Which ever way you go, it’s another great way to get into the spirit of World Prematurity Day 2020.