Our very own, KK Women’s and Children’ Hospital (KKH) Singapore, celebrated World Prematurity Day by dressing up their adorable preemie patients in superhero costumes.
Most of the hospital’s preemies stay at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Spacial Care Nursery for weeks, even months, until they are strong enough to go home. The adorable photos, shared on Facebook, are captioned with the baby’s name, how far along they were when they were born, their birth weight, number of days in the hospital, and even their “superhero trait”.
Little Elyza, for example, was born at 26 weeks 1 day gestation. Her superhero trait? Her ability to keep calm in times of chaos.
Despite his twin brother being discharged, Wei Yan doesn’t get too lonely. His superpower is being a beacon of strength.
Aliia is a courageous “Wonder Girl” who has braved through many storms.
KKH wasn’t the first to dress up preemies in superhero costumes; St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City also dressed their preemies in costumes for Halloween, and many of them were clothed in superhero garb. As KKH wrote in their caption, this is the perfect way to honor these babies “for their admirable strength in their journeys of survival and growth.”
According to the World Health Organization, around 15 million premature babies are born every year — and this number is rising. Complications related to preterm birth are the leading cause of death among children under 5, causing nearly 1 million deaths in 2015. Many survivors end up with disabilities.
All it takes is cost-effective medical care to save over 75% of premature babies. These interventions include:
- steroid injections given to pregnant women at risk of preterm labor
- kangaroo mother care (skin-to-skin contact)
- quality care before, between, and during pregnancies
More than 60% of these preterm births happen in Africa and Asia, though this is a global problem. The 10 countries with the most preterm births are:
- India: 3,519,100
- China: 1,172,300
- Nigeria: 773,600
- Pakistan: 748,100
- Indonesia: 675,700
- The United States of America: 517,400
- Bangladesh: 424,100
- The Philippines: 348,900
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo: 341,400
- Brazil: 279,300
World Prematurity Day happens every November 17 to raise awareness about preterm births.
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