Scientists 'still do not know how to tackle prematurity'

Scientists still do not understand why the prematurity rate across the globe is still going up, a new study has concluded.

According to research published in the Lancet, the number of babies being born before 37 weeks of pregnancy is rising across the world.

However, experts writing the report said they still have a limited understanding of exactly why this is happening - and therefore are unsure as to how this problem can be dealt with.

Dr Joy Lawn, spokeswoman for Save the Children, said: "Research should also focus on preterm birth causes and solutions in low income countries where preterm birth rates are highest."

This, she said, is because the underlying causes are likely to be "simpler to address" than they are in more developed nations.

Figures included in the study indicate that every year, approximately 1.1 million babies die as a result of being born early.

Scientists believe providing simple care could be enough to save the lives of many of these infants.

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