After months of careful gathering of the data, deciding the indicators, testing the codes, designing how the numbers will be translated into graphs and maps, consulting with governments across Africa, a new website - www.africanhealthstats.org is finally here.
Today we celebrate World Prematurity Day. Prematurity matters because babies born too soon are so vulnerable to death or disability. If leaders are serious about reducing the number of newborns who die in their countries they will take prematurity very seriously. The solutions are now well known and relatively low technology. Why is progress so slow?
For pregnant women at risk of preterm birth, antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) are amongst the most effective hospital-based interventions to reduce newborn death. Giving ACS to a mother in preterm labour helps her baby speed up lung development and reduces the risk of newborn death. However, recent evidence calls into question the safety and effectiveness of ACS use in resource-poor settings.
Before my mother decided that I must survive, she first bowed to shame and humiliation from her peers because I was born premature. Please read what I found out about my birth which mother didn't tell me until I was 23!