Why We Work

Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely around the world, affecting more than 1 in 10 births. More than 1 million of these infants die each year due to complications from prematurity, and many survivors face a lifetime of disability. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), prematurity is the leading cause of newborn death worldwide (estimated at 29%).
In the majority of cases, these babies could be saved and have improved quality of life, with simple, cost-effective interventions provided at the time of birth.

While half of babies born at 24 weeks survive in high-income countries, babies born as late as 32 weeks often have only a 50% chance of survival in the developing world. In rural areas, health centers often lack access to the basic supplies and medications that would give premature babies a chance at life.


In the United States, preterm birth affects nearly 500,000 (1 out of 8) babies each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that premature births cost the US healthcare system $26 billion annually. Some states, particularly those in the South, have preterm birth rates that exceed many developing countries.


India has the largest number of preterm births in the world, with an estimated 3.5 million babies born early each year. Nearly 300,000 of these babies die each year due to complications.