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Experts call for acceleration of research and interventions for prematurity and stillbirth
Date:2/23/2010

A new report issued today identifies the enormous global impact of preterm birth and stillbirthand what can be done to decrease it. Globally, an estimated 13 million babies are born preterm each year. Newborn deaths now account for more than 42 percent of mortality in children under the age of five, a rise from 37 percent in the year 2000. Additionally, an estimated 3.2 million are stillborn each year, and many of these losses are linked to maternal deaths.

The Global Report on Preterm & Stillbirth, published with the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth's latest supplement (http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcpregnancychildbirth/), identifies known causes and 21 proven interventions that could now be widely used to improve these extremely distressing yet under-addressed outcomes. Additionally, it outlines the urgent need for increased focus and attention on research. This is crucial for understanding the magnitude, causes, and consequences of preterm birth and stillbirth, and for speeding up the development of diagnostics, treatment and prevention strategies.

The report, led by the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS), and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Seattle Children's, is a collaborative effort undertaken by an interdisciplinary team of maternal, newborn and child health experts from around the globe.

"We can save more lives, but we urgently need more action and resources to better understand the causes of prematurity and stillbirth, and to guide development of cost-effective interventions," said Dr. Craig E. Rubens, executive director of GAPPS. "For the first time ever, experts from around the world have agreed to a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to solving these global tragedies."

"Tremendous progress has been made toward saving the lives of children under 5, except in the early neonatal period, th
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Contact: Gretchen Sorensen
gretchen@sorensenideas.com
206-794-1057
Seattle Children's
Source:Eurekalert

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