‘WHO Recommendations on Interventions to Improve Preterm Birth Outcomes’ states that preterm infants are more likely to suffer complications or develop a lifelong disability if they’re not treated correctly.
The new guidelines have been prompted due to preterm births being the leading cause of deaths among children who are under the age of 5.
WHO hopes the new guidelines will encourage a decline in mortality rates among infants, adding to the efforts being made by other organisations worldwide.
The guidance offers midwives and women various interventions when preterm birth is imminent, giving premature babies a better chance of survival.
Interventions highlighted in the guidelines include; steroid injections before childbirth and the consumption of magnesium sulfate to prevent neurological impairment to the child.
These interventions are also included in the recent Global Health Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescent’s Health, which is a 15-year plan to end preventable deaths.
The strategy will be launched in September 2015.
Preterm birth is the name given to babies who were born before 37 weeks.
In 2013, WHO states that one million premature babies died due to complications of preterm birth.
For more information and to view the guidelines, visit the World Health Organization’s website here.
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