World Prematurity Day 2020

Celebrated since 2009, 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, marches or purple lightening.

This Year’s Theme

We invite you to use the global World Prematurity Day 2020 theme:

“World Prematurity Day 2020, Together for babies born too soon – Caring for the future”. This year’s messaging focus lies on:

  • Supporting families
  • Supporting healthcare professionals
  • Strengthening healthcare systems

Together for Babies Born too Soon – Caring for the Future

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.

Organizations from around the world, partnering for World Prematurity Day, have compiled tips for activities, social media content and other promotion material to share your World Prematurity Day experience and plans. The toolkit contains:

Get Involved, It’s Simple!

World Prematurity Day initiatives aim to increase awareness, reach and engagement around the world about the issues of preterm birth, preterm survival, and optimal development of preterms to reach their potential. Join the global movement: You can participate in a variety of ways, such as sharing the messages provided in the Advocacy and Social Media toolkit in your social media channels – don’t forget to use the #WorldPrematurityDay2020 to ensure your post is found everywhere around the world.

Things You Can Do to Support World Prematurity Day

  • Participate in the live Twitter Chat on 16 November 2020, 9.00 – 10.00 AM EST. For your tweets, use the Hashtag #WDP20Chat.
  • Visit to share your World Prematurity Day experiences and plans within your networks.
  • Download social media resources, and share social media links among your networks, using #WorldPrematurityDay20.
  • 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, cooking purple meals, or coming up with your own ways to turn the world purple in support of prematurity awareness. Share on social media with #WorldPrematurityDay2020
  • Hang up a sock-line with 9 white baby socks and one smaller purple baby sock as a symbol to raise awareness for prematurity and share on social media with #WorldPrematurityDay2020.
  • Take the Kangaroo Mother Care Challenge and post photos on social media using #KMCchallenge. Learn more.

 Tell us about your activity

Every single voice counts and your activity is important. Please let us know what you do for World Prematurity Day 2020 and send a short summary to the World Prematurity Day Coordinating Committee.

 Additional Resources


Standards of Care for inpatient care

Additional information on preterm birth and maternal / newborn health in different contexts

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.