November 17 marks World Prematurity Day. The day is aimed at creating awareness on premature births and ways to avoid them.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 15 million babies worldwide are born prematurely. Complications linked to prematurity are now the second biggest killer of children under 5 years, after pneumonia.
CapeTalk’s Pippa Hudson spoke to Julie Gibson, a manager of the Newborns Groote Schuur Trust and Dr Lloyd Tooke, a senior clinician.
Listen to the full conversation below:
According to Dr Tooke, in South Africa, about 100 000 babies are born prematurely every year, slightly rating higher than the world average.
Dr Tooke listed infections, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and less family planning as contributors to premature births.