World Prematurity Day 2019


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 remain 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.

2019 Theme

We invite you to use the World Prematurity Day 2019 theme: “Born Too Soon: Providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place.” A message map with the benefits of family partnership in care for children, families, parents, health care professionals, policymakers and others is available below.

Born Too Soon: Providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place

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.

Share your World Prematurity Day experience and plans, download social media resources, and share social media links within your networks.

To assist your planning, global partners are developing a World Prematurity Day toolkit, including:

Get Involved!

World Prematurity Day initiatives aim 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 the toolkit in your social media channels.

Simple Things You Can Do to Support World Prematurity Day

  • Access materials for promotion. Go to the WPD Facebook page and resources.
  • Post on social media leading up to and during World Prematurity Day using #worldprematurityday.
  • Add your event to the EFCNI Changemaker Map and show what is being done to change the situation for preterm infants and their families.
  • Submit a blog to HNN telling your story of transforming care for small and sick newborns:
  • 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. Learn more.

Message Map

The 2019 World Prematurity Day Message Map can be found here.

Additional Resources


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