‘World Prematurity Day’ Nutures Babies and Families
Famous buildings worldwide are lit up in purple in support of preterm born children. One in 10 children in the world is born prematurely.
Eight-year-old Nastya was one of those babies they call “preemies”. She and her mother, Olena Vasylchenko, annually participate in campaigns to support premature babies. They want to show by their own example that these children can conquer any peak.
“Anastasia was born really prematurely. She was in a bad condition and could not breathe. Doctors had to resuscitate her. That is why her health problems developed,” Olena says. But she describes Anastasia as “very active and positive” and says she is engaged in swimming and dancing, as well as studies in math class.
In Ukraine, one in 15 babies is born prematurely — while in the rest of the world it’s one in 10. At a Kyiv charity event, organizers encouraged everyone to create 20 thousand pieces of oragami paper birds which represents the number of preterm children who were born in Ukraine. Mothers of prematurely born babies were able to get support and to exchange their experience with others.
Anna Taldenko, a teacher from Brovary, attended the event with students and their parents making some of the birds. “Our children even wrote wishes to these premature born babies. We call them ‘Storks of Hope’. We keep our fingers crossed for them and their parents,” Anna said.
The event also raised money for newborn intensive care units in the Kherson and Odesa Regions. World Prematurity Day was first marked in Vienna in 2008. Now it is observed in more than 100 countries worldwide with famous buildings being lit up in purple.