GAVI marks World Prematurity Day

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GAVI commemorates World Prematurity Day and the fight against preventable child deaths


Nakintu Prossy's two-day-old preterm baby girl sleeps in an incubator in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Kiwoko Hospital on August 30, 2012 at the facility in Kiwoko, Nakaseke district, Central Uganda. Copyright: Ian P. Hurley/Save the Children.

Geneva, 16 November 2012 - Preterm birth is the world's largest killer of newborn babies, causing more than 1 million deaths each year. 75% of those deaths could be saved with proven, cost-effective measures.

On World Prematurity Day November 17th, countries in nearly every part of the world will draw public attention to the problem of preterm birth and the simple care that can save many of these babies.

“We know what it takes to address the challenge of prematurity and we are committed to bringing partners together behind proven, affordable solutions,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

This year’s World Prematurity Day plays a critical role in sustaining the momentum built by the launch of the Born Too Soon report in May 2012. To mark the publication of the report, more than 30 organizations made new or enhanced commitments in support of the Every Woman Every Child effort launched by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

US$ 1 = US$ 18

A study in Health Affairs covering 73 Gavi-supported countries over the 2011–2020 period shows that, for every US$ 1 spent on immunisation, US$ 18 are saved in healthcare costs, lost wages and lost productivity due to illness. If we take into account the broader benefits of people living longer, healthier lives, the return on investment rises to US$ 48 per US$ 1 spent.

Ozawa S, Clark S, Portnoy A et al. Return on investment from childhood immunizations in low- and middle-income countries, 2011-20, Health Affairs 2016

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