The NEWS (Monrovia)

23 November 2012

Liberia: One Million Babies Die in Pre-Term Birth Yearly

Liberia joined the world to celebrate World Prematurity Day with Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Saye Dahn Bawoo revealing that more than one million babies died yearly from Pre-term birth worldwide.

Speaking during the celebration of the day, Dr. Bawoo said pre-term or early birth is the world largest killer of babies.

Dr. Bawoo said Liberia ranks 83 out of 184 countries for number of babies born prematurely and 72 for number of deaths due to complications from pre-term birth.

He said in Liberia, 35% of children who died under the age of five are newborns, noting "this is a rising proportion."

Dr. Bawoo further said complications from prematurity account for 34% of these deaths, making pre-term birth the leading cause of newborn mortality.

He told the gathering that the Ministry of Health and its partners are striving to prevent pre-term births to save the premature babies.

According to him, the Ministry is supporting several interventions including promoting skills facility, recruitment and training of qualified health workers, provision of essential drugs, equipment and supplies, among others.

The acting CMO said Liberia is committed to the health related Millennium Development Goals for child survival.

World Prematurity Day is commemorated to accelerate action aimed at addressing pre-term birth and take the necessary steps to avert death.

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