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NCMCH marks World Prematurity Day (Premature Awareness Day)

World Prematurity Day (Premature Awareness Day), celebrated on November 17, was established in 2009 at the initiative of the  European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI). Each year, around 6-8% of newborns in the world are born prematurely, while in Kyrgyzstan there are around 10-12 thousand premature births per year. Achievements in the care of preterm children contribute to the development of medical science, improvement of treatment outcomes in full-term newborns, young children and adults.

Caring for premature newborns is a very costly process aimed at creating conditions for the child similar to those inside the womb and supporting the underdeveloped functions of the organism.

In 2004, Kyrgyzstan completed its switch to the newborn registration criteria recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) – according to them registration is performed for neonates born on the 22nd week of pregnancy with body mass over 500 grams.

Parents of such children require quality care for their babies, financial support and urgent psychological help – not just on the part of medical workers but our community as a whole. It is very important to remember that premature birth is not a verdict and that a huge number of preterm neonates grow up to be healthy and fully functional adults, often reaching prominence.

This is the fourth time that World Prematurity Day is marked in Kyrgyzstan – in the National Center for Maternal and Child Health (NCMCH). On this day, invitations are extended to 30-40 preterm and extremely preterm children who had been discharged from the Neonatal Pathologies Unit in the past 10-12 years. Parents share their experience of caring for extremely preterm infants, representatives of non-governmental organizations and the UN system in Kyrgyzstan make statements, leading neonatologists present the latest achievements in global neonatal practice and neonatologists who themselves were born premature talk about their lives, keeping up the optimism of families with recently born preterm babies.

And there are numerous reasons for such optimism: the survival rate of premature newborns improves with each year, and we are seeing an increasing number of new achievements in fighting disabilities. An enormous number of people who were born prematurely have reached astounding success despite a difficult start in life. Among them are Napoleon, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, many famous actors and musicians, e.g., the legend of soul music Stevie Wonder whose blindness due to premature retinopathy did not stand in his way of reaching worldwide fame.