Shining a Light on Premature Births

Nov 18, 2011, 7:45 PM, Posted by

EmpireStateBuilding Empire State Building lights up purple for Prematurity Awareness Day. Photo by Karl Wint

One million babies worldwide died this year because they were born too soon, according to the March of Dimes. The Empire State Building towers were lit in purple last night in honor of the first-ever World Prematurity Day. This day is a call to raise awareness efforts to reduce death and disability caused by premature birth.

An estimated 13 million babies are born early every year around the globe, including more than half a million in the United States, according to March of Dimes.

Learn more on the World Prematurity Day Facebook page, run a global alliance of partners including March of Dimes, the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants, Australia's National Premmie Foundation and Africa's Little Big Souls.

>>Read more on maternal and infant health.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.