ABC News - Premature birth and its accompanying health dangers kill 1.1 million babies worldwide each year, making it the second-leading cause of death for children under age 5, according to a new global report.
The report, called “Born Too Soon,” is the first ever to focus on the problems facing babies born prematurely, defined as birth before 37 weeks in the womb.
Nearly 15 million babies face the health risks of pre-term birth each year, accounting for about 1 in 10 live births around the world, in countries rich and poor. According to the report, the U.S. ranks sixth on the list of 184 countries with the highest rates of pre-term births, far higher than other high-income countries.
But where a baby is born makes all the difference when it comes to surviving after a premature birth, said Dr. Joy Lawn, co-editor of the report and the Director of Global Evidence and Policy at Saving Newborns Lives at Save the Children.
“A baby born very pre-term, less than 28 weeks, who is born in America has a more than 90 percent chance of survival. And if that same baby was born in Africa where I live and work and spent most of my life, that baby would have less than 10 percent chance of survival,” Lawn told ABC News’ chief health and medical editor, Dr. Richard Besser.