Being born too early is the single greatest cause of death and disability in children up to five years of age in the developed world. Worldwide, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm each year.
Those born at the earliest gestational ages may suffer from severe problems such as cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, blindness and developmental delay. Discovering how to prevent this complication of pregnancy needs to be one of our highest priorities.
- A high-impact research program
Our world-unique WA Preterm Birth Prevention Initiative (PTBPI) has reduced the rate of preterm birth across WA by 8% in its first year. That’s almost 200 families prevented from having a preterm birth and the prospect of long-term care and permanent disability for their child.
The PTBPI is a whole-of-population program encompassing new clinical guidelines, an outreach program for health care practitioners, a public health and social media campaign for women and their families, and a new preterm birth prevention clinic.
WIRF’s Preterm Birth Prevention Initiative not only saves babies lives, it also represents a considerable saving for governments and health systems everywhere. Immediate care for a new born in the weight range of 750 grams – 2kg typically costs the health system anywhere between $59,000 to $216,000. This does not extend to the ongoing costs associated with life-long health issues for those born too soon.
- Translating our work on the national and international stage
The findings of the PTBPI have been recognised as a ‘Report of Major Impact’ by the leading medical publication, The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology; providing new information and guidelines for the global health community to effect positive change in their own regions.
Future successes of the Initiative will rely on securing a principal supporter which will facilitate cutting-edge lab based and biomedical research discoveries and allow the expansion of programs which link science with the clinical community and the public; ultimately providing other regions worldwide the tools and proven roadmap to reduce the global burden of preterm birth.
- Worldwide, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm each year
- In 2015, preterm birth was responsible for nearly 1 million deaths
- Preterm birth is defined as birth before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy
- In WA alone, nearly 3000 babies are born preterm each year – approximately 1 in 12 pregnancies ends preterm.
- Rates of preterm birth among Aboriginal Australians and disadvantaged communities are approximately double.
- Preterm birth is the single greatest cause of death and disability in children up to five years of age in the developed world.
- In its first full year, The Western Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Initiative, has successfully lowered the rate of preterm birth across WA by 8 per cent.
- View the preterm birth infographics from the 2018 Whole Nine Months magazine.
- Professor Matt Kemp
- Dr Matt Payne
- Dr Roger White
- Dr Sean Carter
- Dr Lucy Furfaro
- Professor Jan Dickinson
- Dr Shin Lee
- Dr Scott White
- Suzie Allen
- Cate Belcher
- Teresa Warner
- Michelle Pedretti
- Dr Mary Sharp
- Professor Dorota Doherty
- Professor Jeffrey Keelan
- Jennifer Leverington
- Dr Shaofu Li
- Narisha Pendal
- Hannah Smith
- Graeme Boardley
A Report of Major Impact
The findings of the WA Preterm Birth Prevention Initiative have been recognised as a 'Report of Major Impact' by the leading medical publicaiton, The American American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, which recognises its potential for immediate impact among the global clinical and scientific community.
We are extremely proud that the Preterm Birth Prevention Initiative is providing new information and guidelines for the global health community to effect positive change in their own regions.
Our world-unique WA Preterm Birth Prevention Initiative has reduced the rate of preterm birth across the state by 8% in its first year. That’s almost 200 families prevented from having a preterm birth and the prospect of long-term care and permanent disability for their child.
Our Preterm Birth Prevention Initiative is making a difference not only here in WA, but also Australiawide and internationally. We hope as supporters you feel as proud as we do of what you are helping us achieve as we deliver Western Australia to the world.