According to an international research, in Pakistan every sixteen children out of one hundred are prematurely born. In this way each year about fifteen million babies are prematurely born in all over the world (Source 1). This report is also confirmed by World Health Organization (WHO) and other world renowned bodies. Out of them nearly one million children die soon after the birth. On the other hand, majority of survivals face physical, neurological and mental diseases (Source 2). A research was conducted in United Kingdom; the main purpose of study was to evaluate the intelligent level of too soon born babies. About 160 children were included in study. Scientists concluded that these children are weak in mathematics and science subjects. They learn very slowly and take more time to adjust in the society. Throughout career, their results are poor (Source 3).
Twenty five experts from Agha Khan University and other renowned institutions compiled a report titled “Born to soon, The Global Action Report on Pre- Term Birth”. In this report they mentioned, if some low-cost but verified and proper treatment is carried out, about three-fourth (3/4th) premature births can be controlled.
Secretary General of United Nation, Ban ki Moon said that to reduce the early birth and mortality rates is the integral part of ‘Global strategy for Women and Children Health’. However, he further said that these babies face the danger of illness or death so proper measures must be taken to cure this evil. If this problem is not addressed today, tomorrow it will be more dangerous like AIDS, Polio etc. Today preterm birth is second chief reason of death after pneumonia in children under age 5 years (Source 4)
Another report says, one out of ten alive born children is premature. More than 60 percent of these cases happen in Africa and Asia because of the non-availability of proper guidance and facilities. In Nigeria alone, 773,600 children are prematurely born per year. Whereas, in India the number is 3519,100, in China 1172,300 and in Pakistan 748,100.
Specialists suggest that before, during and after pregnancy of premature born child, women can be saved. There is only need of awareness which will save thousands of lives and better outcome of pregnancy. This is low-cost method. Risk of premature birth for mothers can also be reduced with basic safety measures such as Antenatal steroid injection, Kangaroo care etc. If we have to reduce the rate of premature born child then the pregnancy period must be completed which is from 39 weeks to 44 weeks, enough nutrition before and after the pregnancy, prior to pregnancy, access of all medical facilities for the women and regular check-up of doctor.