Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

International conference on prematurity and stillbirth: a call to action

7 to 10 May 2009

Every year around the world, more than three million stillbirths occur, and more than one million babies die because they were born too early. Globally, prematurity is one of the leading causes of deaths that occur in the first 28 days of life. Premature babies who do survive often suffer serious health problems. Despite the magnitude of these global health problems, prematurity and stillbirth have attracted remarkably little attention, and many causes remain a mystery.

The international conference to examine the causes of prematurity and stillbirth and to identify and promote interventions for these devastating problems will take place in Seattle, USA from 7 to 10 May 2009. The invitation-only conference is organized by the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) together with international partners including WHO and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Global leaders in maternal, newborn and child health will convene to establish a roadmap for future research efforts, raise awareness of this immense global health burden and build a foundation for policy changes that support prevention and treatment globally.