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Thousands of African newborn deaths could be prevented
Around 15 million infants are born prematurely each year, according to a new report from the World Health Organization.
The study, entitled Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth, shows that premature births occur in approximately ten per cent of all pregnancies each year.
Of this ten per cent, one million newborns die shortly after birth, with the majority of deaths occurring in sub-Sahara Africa, reveals the maternal and newborn health data.
More than 100 experts contributed to the research and they found that 75 per cent of the preterm babies who die could survive if standard and inexpensive treatments and preventions were more widely available.
"In low-income countries, more than 90 per cent of extremely preterm babies die within the first few days of life, while less than ten per cent die in high-income countries," said Christopher Howson, co-editor of the report.
Nations with the highest rates of preterm birth are Malawi, Congo and Zimbabwe.
Posted by Paul Robertson
World Congress 2015