Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Dr. Fazıl Küçük Faculty of Medicine academic staff and Neonatal Intensive Care Specialist Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nilüfer Güzoğlu released a statement regarding the 17 November World Prematurity Day. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Güzoğlu’s statement reads as follows:
“Babies born before completing the 37th gestational week are called premature. It is estimated that 15 million babies are born every year in the world and 10% of them are premature. Premature birth and related problems are an important cause of child deaths all over the world.
Today, there are important developments in neonatal intensive care units in line with the developments in technology. Parallel to this, more and more premature babies can hold on to life every day. However, unfortunately, some of the premature babies still have to struggle with many problems including growth retardation, learning difficulties, vision and hearing problems in the long term.
In particular,babies born under 32 weeks of gestation and with a birth weight below 1500 gr. are prone to many problems. Their lungs are not fully developed and, thus, have respiratory distress. Special drugs for lung development and intubation may be required. They cannot maintain their body temperature, so monitoring in the incubator is necessary. Some vascular structures in the brain are very thin and tend to bleed easily, which can cause future disability in babies. They cannot suck like babies born on time and are fed orally through a tube or a vascular access. Since the immune system is immature, they can easily get infections. Dealing with these problems is difficult for their families as well as the babies.
The "World Prematurity Day" is observed on 17 November to raise awareness for premature children globally and these little warriors are represented with the colour purple. The aim of this awareness day is to explain the problems of premature babies, to support their families and to encourage premature babies to live equally without long-term problems. In order to support this struggle of premature babies, it is necessary to invest in trained neonatal intensive care specialists, nurses and appropriate neonatal intensive care devices. With appropriate interventions, most of the premature babies are able to survive as completely healthy individuals, and some even leave marks on the world. Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin and Napoleon Bonaparte were among the important names who were born premature and influenced the world. "