World Prematurity Day: Meet Mariam

World Prematurity Day: Meet Mariam

Even today, too many women and babies are still not receiving the quality care needed to experience a safe and healthy childbirth. An estimated 15 million babies worldwide are born prematurely each year, and the number continues to rise. Preterm birth is not a complication that only exists in one country or one region; it cuts across 184 countries and around the globe, 5 percent to 18 percent of babies are born too soon. With preterm birth complications causing the greatest number of deaths of children under the age of five, many are surprised to learn that many pregnancies can reach full term with increased attention to risk reductions and 75 percent of deaths caused by preterm birth can be prevented with cost-effective interventions. From a midwife with better skills training to an SMS message with nutrition advice, the solutions to prevent this worldwide challenge can be put into action.

In honor of World Prematurity Day, today we’re following the story of one woman’s journey to have a safe pregnancy to deliver a healthy full-term baby. Meet Mariam, a 23-year-old pregnant woman from Mali, a country where 84,000 babies are born too soon every year and 9,170 children under five die due to preterm complications according to the latest country data on world prematurity.

Risk Factors: What puts women like Mariam at risk? 

Read the first post in our four-part series sharing Mariam’s story here:

Health Innovation: What an SMS message can unlock for healthier women and babies

Part two in our four-part series following Mariam is here:

Health Workforce: Meet the day one heroes

Mariam’s journey continues in part three, as we meet her midwife: 

Care and Prevention: Charting a healthy way forward

Find out next steps for Mariam and her baby here:

Stories like Mariam’s can become the norm. With greater research, programs and partnerships, premature birth can be prevented. Continue to follow the story online on Twitter with @JNJGlobalHealth and @GlobalMomsChall using the hashtags #WorldPrematurityDay #BornOnTime #preterm #everynewborn.

Learn more about the global movement to support care for premature birth and the solutions for prevention by visiting the following references:


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