World health organization

10 facts on the state of global health

An adult hand holds a preterm baby's hand
Save the children/C. Crowley

Preterm birth is the leading killer of newborn babies worldwide

Every year 15 million babies – about 1 in 10 babies – are born preterm (born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Preterm birth complications cause more than one million deaths each year. More than three quarters of these babies’ lives could be saved with simple and cost-effective care.

© WHO. All rights reserved.