Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report for Preterm Health launches at the United Nations in New York
Authors: Andre Gitembagara, Tamara Windau
Andre Gitembagara, Member of the WRA Rwanda Board of Directors, and Tamara Windau, of the Global Secretariat, attended the reception in support of Every Woman Every Child: H4+ Commitment to the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health and the launch of Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report for Preterm Health at the United Nations in New York.
Remarks were made by the UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro, Executive Director of the UNFPA Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Chair of PMNCH and Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health Dr. Julio Frenk, and the President of the March of Dimes Foundation Dr. Jennifer Howse.
The new report, Born Too Soon, features the first-ever estimates of preterm birth rates by country. More than 1 in 10 babies are born preterm, affecting families all around the world – and preterm birth rates are increasing in almost all countries with reliable data. The report proposes actions for policy, programs and research that, if acted upon, will substantially reduce the toll of preterm birth, especially in high-burden countries. Investment in women’s and maternal health and care at birth will reduce stillbirth rates and improve outcomes for women and newborn babies, especially those who are premature. Click here for more information and to download the full report.
WRA Rwanda Board Member Andre Gitembagara with Executive Director of the UNFPA Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin
Andre shared that “It was a great time to attend the event of the reception at the United Nations in New York. Preterm birth is really a big problem in African countries. Statistics show that of the 11 countries with preterm birth rates over 15 percent, all but 2 are in sub-Saharan Africa.
I have been impressed by the Kangaroo Mother Care method, I know there has been scale-up of this intervention in Rwanda that is saving the lives of preterm babies. I think this is a good approach to be applied in many countries where other high-cost interventions like neonatal intensive care units are still lacking. This intervention is low-cost, efficient, and can greatly involve the husband’s participation.
The prevention and care of preterm births are linked to meeting Millennium Development Goal #5. We know that effective antenatal, obstetric and postnatal care for all pregnant women saves lives of mothers and babies. The WRA Rwanda, and WRA globally, must continue to advocate for maternal health improvement to prevent maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity.”
Speakers at the event, including L to R: Dr. Jennifer Howse; Dr. Hadji Mponda, Ho. Minister of Health Tanzania; Ms. Susana Malcorra, United Nations; Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin; Dr. Julio Frenk; and Diane Brady, Bloomsberg Businessweek (Photo by Etienne Franca of UNFPA)