Indonesia’s Preterm Birth Rate is Among the Highest in Contrast with Finland and Sweden

A recent report ranks Indonesia as one of the top ten countries with the highest rates of preterm births, with 15.5 percent or over 675,000 babies born too early each year, while the rates in Finland and Sweden are among the lowest.
About 15 million babies, or over 10 percent of births worldwide, are born too early each year, according to ‘Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth’, the report just released by Save the Children, The March of Dimes Foundation, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and The World Health Organization.
Among the top ten countries with the highest rates of preterm births for every 100 is Indonesia where the rate is 15.5 percent.  Other countries on the top ten list include Malawi – 18.1 perent, Comoros and Congo-16.7 percent, Zimbabwe-16.6 percent, Equatorial Guinea-16.5 percent,  Mozambique-16.4 percent, Gabon-16.3 percent, Pakistan-15.8 percent and Mauritania-15.4 percent.
Good news for Scandinavians is that the rates of preterm births in Finland and Sweden are among the lowest; 5.5 percent in Finland and 5.9 percent in Sweden.
Sad news is that more than one million of those babies die shortly after birth, countless others suffer some type of lifelong physical, neurological, or educational disability, often at great cost to families and society.

“Preterm births account for almost half of all newborn deaths worldwide and are now the second leading cause of death in children under 5, after pneumonia.” says Joy Lawn, M.D., PhD, co-editor of the report and Director, Global Evidence and Policy for Save the Children.
“The numbers of preterm births are increasing. In most countries, preterm birth rates increased in the last 20 years,” says Dr. Lawn.

Nevertheless, an estimated 75% of these preterm babies who die could be saved if a proven and inexpensive treatments and preventions were available worldwide, according to more than 100 experts who contributed to the report.
The report also explains in details about preterm birth, its causes, and the kinds of care that are needed. With the detailed information, action plans provided in the report, we hope that the rates of preterm births will decrease next year worldwide.

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