Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Dr. Fazıl Küçük Medicine Faculty academic staff member and Paediatric specialist Dr. Umut Altunç released a statement on “World Prematurity Day”. Dr. Altunç touched on the following during his speech:
Every year, more than 15 million babies are born prematurely. Unfortunately some of these premature babies suffer from permanent health problems and face life-threatening situations caused by inadequate medical opportunities or complications arose from being premature.
Therefore the 17th of November since 2011 has been observed with various events as “World Prematurity Day” in order to draw attention on issues related to prematurity. More than 1 million babies pass away because of problems related to premature birth across the world.
Most of premature babies are put into neonatal intensive care units within the bounds of possibility. During the stay in neonatal intensive care unit, babies are given respiratory and nutritional support, and if it’s necessary, they are treated with expensive and hard to find medication. Physical disabilities such as permanent blindness, loss in hearing or spasticity can occur because of the possible complications. Despite this fact, approximately 75% of deaths or disablement related to prematurity can be prevented with inexpensive protective methods. Achieving to reach at least the 39th week of pregnancy is vital in terms of saving lives of many babies. Diseases or habits like cigarette consumption, infections, high blood pressure and diabetes that are known to be related with preterm birth should be followed-up and treated. Expecting mothers should be educated about such diseases and protective health precautions. Most of the premature birth can be prevented by having a balanced diet before and during the pregnancy, taking suggested amounts of Folic Acid, vitamins B and D, and also with the vaccination programs during the pregnancy. Continuous contributions to Neonatal Intensive Care Units, where the treatments of new born and premature babies are successfully done, by both non-governmental organisations and relevant governmental institutions possess a vital role. Preventing premature birth is a very important protective health service. Therefore, EMU Dr. Fazıl Küçük Medicine Faculty organizes education and awareness campaigns within various platforms and will be a closer follower of this topic in the following years as well.