One out of eight babies is born prematurely, and many experience long term damage because of it, including learning disabilities and serious health challenges. Even the best care can’t always save preemies from these lasting effects. Premature birth is also the leading cause of newborn death in the US. Like any other major disease, change will take a long time. The March of Dimes, as the leading non-profit organization for pregnancy and baby health, is leading the way in finding solutions to the problems that threaten babies.
Since 2003, the March of Dimes has led multiple events during the month of November in order to raise money and spread awareness. The goal of their Prematurity Campaign is to reduce the amount of premature deaths in the United States.
Here is a list of all the ways they have already had an impact:
1. Supporting Prematurity Research: The March of Dimes awards a grant called the Prematurity Research Initiative (PRI) which funds promising, innovative research into the causes and prevention of prematurity. Since 2004, the March of Dimes has funded 34 PRI’s, which have resulted in promising discoveries.
2. The Preemie Act: This act was signed into law in December of 2006. By approving the measure, Congress authorized expanded research, education and services pertaining to the growing problem of premature birth.
3. Surgeon General’s Conference: The Preemie Act set the stage for the General Surgeon’s Conference in 2008. This was meant to establish an agenda to speed research and treatment of risk factors and causes of preterm labor and delivery. They are currently pursuing six factors that resulted from this conference.
4. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report: This 2006 report was co-sponsored by the March of Dimes. This raised the importance of prematurity to a national research agenda.
There are several more acts and conferences that have helped to increase awareness and further research into preemies.
For more information, visit the March of Dimes website.
Written by Savannah Oliver, Campus Life Editor. Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.
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