More than one in 10 babies worldwide are born prematurely. A new report, led by the World Health Organization, indicates that of the 15 million preterms, 1 million die soon after birth and three-quarters of the deaths could be prevented with basic care.
A premature or preterm baby is one that is born before 37 weeks after the first day of the mother's last period. A full-term baby is when pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Of the 11 counties where 15 percent of babies are born too early, all but two are in sub-Saharan Africa.
The report also mentions caesarean sections before full term, which are not always medically needed, as a reason for increasing premature baby rates.