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World Prematurity Day on 17 November is one of the most important days in the year to raise awareness of the challenges and burden of preterm birth globally. The day was initiated by EFCNI and partnering European parent organisations in 2008. The international co-founders LittleBigSouls (Africa), March of Dimes (USA) and National Premmie Foundation (Australia) joined the celebrations and made World Prematurity Day an intercontinental movement. Meanwhile, countless individuals and organisations from more than 100 countries join forces with activities, special events and commit to action to help address preterm birth and improve the situation of preterm babies and their families.

Everyone is warmly invited to join this day with activities or events: parent organisations, hospitals, non-profit organisations, healthcare professionals, societies, companies, politicians, media, and individuals. No matter how much time, money or manpower you are able to spare – even with simple things you can make a difference!

Besides the colour purple which stands for sensitivity and exceptionality, the socksline has become a symbol for World Prematurity Day. The small pair of purple socks – framed by nine full-size baby socks – symbolises: 1 in 10 babies is born preterm. Worldwide.

(c) EFCNI: The Olympic tower in Munich is illuminated purple on WPD 2018

2018 – the ten year anniversary of World Prematurity Day 

2018 was a special year as we were celebrating the 10th anniversary since the foundation of World Prematurity Day in 2008. Under the slogan ‘Working together: Partnering with families in the care of small and sick newborns’, people joined the worldwide WPD celebrations. In our resources section, we provided special graphics for the 10th anniversary.  As EFCNI is based in Munich, Germany, it was, of course, a special highlight for us that one of the literally outstanding landmarks of Munich, the Olympic tower, was illuminated in purple, shining a light for preterm babies and their families.

The global theme for World Prematurity Day 2020 is:

World Prematurity Day 2020
Together for babies born too soon – Caring for the future

We are happy to provide you with campaigning material in more than 20 languages.

You find further material like logo badges, social media graphics and banners – also available in several languages – and a social media toolkit for your World Prematurity Day campaign in our Resources tool box below.

Images: Sharon McCutcheon/Karl Fredrickson

Join our World Prematurity Day Photo Challenge on 17 November!

To send out a message of gratitude to the global network of parent organisations and to support especially new/young parents and mothers of preterm born babies, we will initiate a photo challenge on World Prematurity Day to give parents hope and to celebrate the progress our children have made. Also, the challenge is designed to draw attention to the impressive work of parent- and patient organisations and can hopefully connect people affected by preterm birth.

Joining is easy:
Inspired by the How it started – How it’s going social media trend we invite you to 

  • Choose two images of your child, one shows them when they were born/younger while you were kangarooing for instance,  and the other one is a  more recent image – please respect your child’s personal image rights and ask for their consent, or, if they are too young, be considerate when choosing a picture. You should both feel comfortable with the chosen image.
  • Adults born preterm are also invited to join the challenge! 
  • Upload both images to your Facebook and/or Instagram account, either separately or montaged to one image 
    Then simply write in the caption „How it started“ and „How it’s going“ or if you made a collage write „How it started“ and „How it’s going“ directly on the picture. If you wish, you may also share your personal story in the caption.
  • Be sure to use #WPDChallenge#WorldPrematurityDay2020 and #LittleHeroes
  • Also, tag three account names of your friends or acquaintances who can join this activity, to your post.
  • We invite you to upload your image(s) to your Instagram Story too – Be sure to use #WPDChallenge#WorldPrematurityDay2020, tag @efcni and three other accounts to join the challenge.