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World Prematurity Day

World Prematurity Day is observed on November 17 each year. It aims to raise awareness about the issues associated with preterm birth. It also spreads information about how to help and support affected families.

Is World Prematurity Day a Public Holiday?

World Prematurity Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Saturday, November 17, 2018 and most businesses follow regular Saturday opening hours.

Incubators are used to support and monitor newborn preemies.
Incubators are used to support and monitor newborn preemies.
©bigstockphoto.com/Ondrooo

World Prematurity Day was first observed in Europe in 2008, but it has since evolved into a worldwide annual observance.

What Is Prematurity?

Medically, the term prematurity refers to the birth of a baby less than 37 weeks after the mother's last normal menstrual period (gestational age). It is also known as preterm birth or premature birth. Premature infants are often referred to as preemies or premmies.

Each year, about 15 million babies – which is about 10% of all babies – are born prematurely around the world. Diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, and obesity increase the risk of giving birth prematurely.

Those Affected Need Support

Despite continuing advances in the medical treatment of preemies, they have a higher mortality rate than babies born at a later stage of the pregnancy. Premature infants are also at a greater risk of being afflicted with a number of disorders and diseases.

In addition to the specific health and developmental requirements of preemies, the parents and family members of prematurely born babies often need emotional and psychological guidance.

What Happens on World Prematurity Day?

World Prematurity Day is not an official public holiday, so businesses, schools, and government offices are open. Action and support groups organize local events and media campaigns to raise awareness about premature birth and to inform the public about ways to provide support to family members of preemies.

World Prematurity Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2011ThuNov 17World Prematurity DayWorldwide observance
2012SatNov 17World Prematurity DayWorldwide observance
2013SunNov 17World Prematurity DayWorldwide observance
2014MonNov 17World Prematurity DayWorldwide observance
2015TueNov 17World Prematurity DayWorldwide observance
2016ThuNov 17World Prematurity DayWorldwide observance
2017FriNov 17World Prematurity DayWorldwide observance
2018SatNov 17World Prematurity DayWorldwide observance
2019SunNov 17World Prematurity DayWorldwide observance
2020TueNov 17World Prematurity DayWorldwide observance

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