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Global Health Leaders Gather to Address Urgent Crisis of Prematurity and Stillbirth
Date:4/21/2009

ory troubles and developmental problems. Despite the magnitude of these global health problems, prematurity and stillbirth have attracted remarkably little attention, and many causes remain a mystery.

"We simply cannot accept the immense suffering of families affected by prematurity and stillbirths. We are proud to bring together the best minds in science, public health, research and policy to help stop these devastating health problems," said Craig Rubens, M.D., Ph.D., executive director of GAPPS, which was launched by Seattle Children's in 2007. "Seattle Children's made this one of our highest research priorities after we realized how many of our patients suffer from problems related to premature birth."

"There has not been enough attention given to preterm births and stillbirth," said Gary Darmstadt, M.D., M.S., interim deputy director, Integrated Health Solutions Development, and Strategic Planning Team Leader, Maternal Newborn Child Health, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "By bringing together researchers, program managers and policy makers to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of these important global health issues, we hope to ensure that advances in health are created and delivered to the families who need them."

"The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign seeks to spare parents the grief of losing a child to an early birth and the anxiety of caring for an infant born too soon," said Jennifer L. Howse, Ph.D., president of the March of Dimes. "We're helping to educate health care professionals worldwide about best practices in perinatal health and to raise public awareness about cost-effective interventions that can improve the health of mothers and babies. Working with the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, we hope to successfully elevate the crisis of preterm birth on the international health care agenda."

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