The Newborns Groote Schuur Trust (NGST) is encouraging all South Africans to support and celebrate its ‘WEAR PURPLE FOR PREEMIES’ World Prematurity Day initiative, on Tuesday, 17 November 2015. The public can purchase a R10 sticker at Groote Schuur Hospital and select ToysRUs stores across the country to get involved and join the cause #WearPurpleforPreemies.
The first campaign was launched in South Africa in 2011 to help raise awareness and educate the public on the various challenges of premature birth for babies and parents. Over 60 countries and 1.4 billion people join together on 17 November each year to celebrate World Prematurity Day to raise awareness about the global problems of pre-term birth, the needs of prematurely born babies and cost-effective interventions for mothers and babies before, during and after childbirth.
Every 30 seconds one baby is born prematurely worldwide, while one in seven babies born in South Africa are born before a complete term. More children die from being born too soon than from dreaded illnesses such as Aids, Malaria or Diarrhoea. In most cases the exact cause of preterm birth is unknown, although the incidence of premature birth is increasing worldwide, the general public know very little about preterm babies. Preterm birth refers to a baby born at less than 37 weeks gestation and many of a baby’s organs including the brain, lungs and liver need the final weeks of pregnancy to fully develop. Babies who survive preterm birth often face the increased risk of a number of health problems.
The goal of the NGST’s Wear Purple for Preemies campaign is to help raise much needed funds to upgrade and expand the specialist hospital care unit dedicated to prematurely born babies at the Groote Schuur Hospital’s Neonatal and Ultrasound Units.
“The planned expansion and refurbishment will directly contribute to the reduction of infection rates, provide the space required for mothers to be actively involved in the daily care of their babies, improve the overall efficiency and functioning of the unit, provide improved working conditions for staff and help to maintain the hospital’s position as one of the largest and well recognised training hospitals in Africa” says Julie Gibson, Trust Manager at Newborns Groote Schuur Trust.
The NGST will also be honouring the 1.1 million newborn babies who have not survived this fight, and those prematurely born babies who fight ongoing health problems and disabilities daily because they arrived too soon.
Join in on this amazing initiative to help make sure that every newborn preterm baby gets the best start in life!
How to get involved
* Get your R10 sticker and wear PURPLE on 17 November
* Stickers can be purchased at NGST and selected ToysRUs stores across the country
* Go to the NGST Facebook page for news, competitions and events
* Join the official World Prematurity Day Facebook page and share your story and post a pic wearing purple
* Remember to hashtag #WearPurpleforPreemies to keep the conversation trending
* Make a donation online on the NGST website
Play a role in helping to raise awareness about the global problem of preterm birth and the needs of prematurely born babies so that more can be done to reduce this growing problem.
EVERY BABY COUNTS!
For more information please contact the Newborns Groote Schuur Trust Tel: 021 404 6023 or 082 254 2652 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org