World Prematurity Day 2018

About World Prematurity Day

Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely – more than one in ten of all babies around the world. World Prematurity Day is a key moment to focus global attention on the leading cause of child deaths under age 5 – complications from preterm birth – which account for nearly 1 million deaths each year (UNICEF). Without a major push to reduce these deaths, we will not reach the Global Goal, endorsed by 193 countries, to end all preventable newborn and child deaths by 2030.

While World Prematurity Day is an opportunity to call attention to the heavy burden of death and disability and the pain and suffering that preterm birth causes, it is also a chance to talk about solutions. The multitude of events organized around the globe on World Prematurity Day remains the heart of the effort. Each year, an increasing number of countries have observed World Prematurity Day by organizing national and local events, including public art installations, parliamentary hearings, health professional meetings, and marches.

World Prematurity Day supports the values and goals of the Every Newborn Action Plan – an initiative of the Every Woman Every Child movement – which mobilizes global multi-sectoral support to save the lives and improve the wellbeing of mothers and their babies.

This toolkit and additional resources are available on the Healthy Newborn Network site here. Visit to share your World Prematurity Day experience and plans, download social media resources, and share social media links among your networks.

To assist your planning, global partners have developed the 2018 World Prematurity Day toolkit available here. The toolkit includes:

  • An advocacy toolkit with messages and ideas for action
  • A social media toolkit
  • Global and country-level preterm birth estimates
  • Additional resources

Visit to share your World Prematurity Day experience and plans, download social media resources, and share social media links among your networks.

2018 Theme

We invite you to use the World Prematurity Day 2018 theme: “Working together: Partnering with families in the care of small and sick newborns”. A message map with the benefits of family partnership in care for children/families/parents, health care professionals, and policymakers and other third parties is available here.

Get Involved: Ideas for Action

The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness, reach and engagement around the world about the issues of premature birth, newborn health and survival. This can be accomplished through your participation in a variety of ways, such as organizing an activity or event, and sharing the messages provided in this toolkit in your social media channels.

Simple Things You Can Do to Support World Prematurity Day

  • Change your profile picture by adding a World Prematurity Day profile picture on Facebook and Twitter, helping to raise awareness without saying a word. Go to:
  • Post in social media leading up to and on World Prematurity Day using #worldprematurityday.
  • Go purple! by wearing purple, lighting your home or office purple, light a purple candle in your window or coming up with your own ways to turn the world purple in support of prematurity awareness. Share on social media with #worldprematurityday.
  • Hang up a sock-line with 9 white baby socks and one smaller purple baby sock as a symbol to raise awareness for prematurity.
  • Take the Kangaroo Mother Care Challenge and post photos on social media using #KMCchallenge – for details check out
  • Add your event to the EFCNI Changemaker Map, an interactive map to show what has been achieved globally in order to change the situation for preterm infants and their families.
  • Access materials for promotion including fact sheets, country data, and social media images. Go to the WPD Facebook page and
  • Share your activity! Don’t forget to tell us about your activities by completing the SurveyMonkey form
  • Post a blog on Healthy Newborn Network and tell your story of transforming care for small and sick newborns – email