World Prematurity day was observed on November 17, last. Throughout the month, there was great focus on lifesaving treatments and community support.
As most may know, prematurity is the number one cause of death in newborns worldwide. Fifteen million babies are born prematurely every year and more than one million die from complications. The babies that survive often have lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy, vision loss, loss of hearing and breathing problems.
According to a study done by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2010, 1800 babies were born pre-term in Guyana and 100 died from complications of pre-term births.
All around the world, organizations, health care professionals and individuals join together and show support for pre-term births and their prevention.
In April 2011, the Guyana Help the Kids Organization was established and registered as a non-profit organization in Toronto, Canada and subsequently in Guyana following a successful partnership with the Canada – Guyana Medical Partnership Coalition. The organization’s sole mandate is to work with the Government of Guyana to reduce infant mortality.
The Guyana Help the Kids Organization, in collaboration with The Ministry of Public Health and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation hosted the first Prematurity Awareness Walk on November 18, 2017.
The ultimate goal of the stakeholders involved is to improve the health of babies by preventing premature births so that more babies can survive.