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Over one in 10 babies born prematurely : KIMS doctors

Global progress towards better child survival and improved health will be impossible without addressing preterm births.

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Hyderabad: Doctors at Kims Hospitals said that more than 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely (below 37 weeks of pregnancy) every year affecting families all around the world.

Among them, over 1 million children die each year due to complications of preterm birth, doctors said.

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Over 60 per cent of preterm births occur in Africa and South Asia.
Among them, India contributes to the biggest proportion of preterm births all over the world, the doctors said in connection with the celebrations of World Prematurity Day, held at KIMS Cuddles here on Thursday.

Tollywood hero Sharwanand attended the function as the chief guest.
Speaking on the occasion, KIMS Cuddles Managing Director Dr Bhaskar Rao said that KIMS Cuddles has joined the United Nation’s movement – Every Woman Every Child effort to prevent preterm births and improve the care of premature babies, accelerating progress towards the goal of having deaths due to preterm birth by 2025.

A huge get-together of about 300 children along with their families, to boost the confidence that preterm babies who receive optimized care can reach normal developmental outcomes in childhood, was also conducted.

Dr Aparna C, Clinical Director, Neonatology & Senior Consultant Neonatology and Pediatrics said, “KIMS Cuddles is happy to celebrate this glorious day with families of the babies who were treated at KIMS Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) who symbolise the commitment of families and staff towards optimal care of babies born too soon and too small.”

Prematurity is the leading cause of death among newborns (that is, babies below 4 weeks ago) and the second most important cause of childhood deaths, she said in addition, being born preterm, also increases a baby’s risk of dying due to other causes, particularly neonatal infections.

Global progress towards better child survival and improved health will be impossible without addressing preterm births.

Preterm births can be broadly categorized into –1) spontaneous preterm birth (spontaneous onset of labour or following rupture of membranes) and 2) provider-initiated preterm birth (defined as the induction of labour or elective caesarean birth before 37 completed weeks of gestation for maternal or fetal indications), Dr Aparna said.

More than three-quarters of premature babies could be saved with feasible, cost-effective care, she said prevention of preterm birth is certainly better than cure – Few cost-effective interventions to prevent preterm births are family planning, especially for girls in regions with high rates of adolescent pregnancy; promoting better nutrition, prevention and screening/ management of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

In recent times the role of hormones such as progesterone in high-risk mothers and low dose aspirin has been shown to be useful to prevent prematurity, she added.

Dr Abhinay ( CEO), Dr Sudheer (Medical Superintendent), Dr Bhanudeep (Pediatric Neurologist), Dr Venkata Sriram Gutta ( Consultant Pediatric & Neonatologist), Dr Aravinda Lochani(Consultant Neonatologist), Dr G. Swetha ( Developmental Pediatrician) attended the function.

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