India tops in premature deliveries

India tops the list in premature deliveries while China comes second.
Chennai: India tops the list of nations in premature deliveries as about 35 lakh preterm deliveries happen every year, wh­ereas it’s only 11 lakh in China, said neonatologist, Dr Deepa Hari­ha­r­an.
Speaking at an event organised by the Indian Foundation for Pre­mature Babies (IFPB) to create aw­are­ness on preterm births on World Premat­urity Day, Sunday, Dr Ha­ri­haran said one in five pregnancies in India could end in premature delivery of baby.
Health secretary, Dr J. Radha­kris­hnan released Deli­ver­ed Too Soon, an action report on pre­te­rm birth in India. “St­re­ss is one of the im­p­o­r­tant factors that contribute to preterm. But there’s no scientific da­ta to prove it.
But what we neonatologists see is that stress has been a major factor. Other factors are hypertension, di­a­betes and infection,” says Dr Hariharan, ad­d­ing anemia, young or advanced maternal age and deliveries in assisted reproductive technology also contribute to preterm births.
WHO says preterm birth as birth before 37 weeks of completed gestation or birth bef­o­re 259 days since the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period. Th­ese babies need special ca­re in a neonatal intensive ca­re unit (NICU). “About 75 per cent of premature ba­bi­es need simple interve­nt­ion without any ad­va­n­ced technologies. Pre­m­a­turity is a rude sho­ck to parents that they are not able to take any decision im­me­­dia­tely as the first min­ute and the first one hour after the delivery is the golden period,” expl­ain­ed the neonatologist.
The Delivered Too Soon report is a multi-faceted study on the growth, gains and gaps in the Indian scenario. The report raises concern about the financial burden on families to save a premature infant, the ma­ximum burden is seen when the baby is between 28 and 36 weeks. Parents of premature babies shared their experiences at the event.
Shyama, who came from Bengaluru, said she delivered her baby in 27 weeks. “My baby was in NICU for nearly 110 days. Those days were very tough and I came all the way from Bengaluru just to be part of this awareness on preterm,” she said.
Factors: Increased lifestyle diseases in pregnant women, increase in multiple pregnancies and introduction of ART and also rising prevalence of gestational diabetes in pregnant women.
WHO states that 15 million babies are born premature worldwide every year and one million babies die annually from complications of prematurity.
India accounts for 23.6 per cent of the global preterm births, out of which 13 per cent are live preterm births
The report says perinatal conditions (33%) are a leading cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity in India
Prevention: Proper diet, exercise, stress reduction and maintaining weight
( Source : dc )
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