One in 10 newborns in Cyprus is born premature, while according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the country is 13th in the world in proportion of population as regards prematurity, it was announced on Tuesday.
To raise awareness of the impact of prematurity on families and society in general, Thermokoitida Agapis (Incubator of love) is organising a series of events next week to mark the World Prematurity Day, marked on November 17.
An estimated 15 million babies are born too early every year, which is more than one in 10 babies, according to WHO data. Approximately one million children die each year due to complications of preterm birth while many survivors face a lifetime of disability, including learning disabilities and visual and hearing problems.
“Every year 500,000 premature babies are born in the European Union. This makes early infants the largest group of sick children in Europe,” the group said.
These figures, it said, reveal the need to inform and raise awareness on prematurity and its multiple consequences on the family and social fabric.
The events include the illumination on Monday of the Makarios children’s hospital in Nicosia in purple, the colour of prematurity, and a gala dinner on Tuesday at the Presidential Palace under the auspices of First Lady Andri Anastasiades.
They also include a bazaar at the Mall of Cyprus, a preemies fun day at Makarios hospital, and a bicycle race event from Limassol to Makarios hospital in Nicosia.
The mission of Thermokoitida Agapis, founded in 2011, is to support and empower families affected by prematurity by increasing awareness on prematurity and promoting pre-conceptual, ante-natal and post-natal education. It also supports the standardised neonatal care and improved long-term care for both the premature baby and its family.
For more info: el-gr.facebook.com/thermokitidaagapis