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by Liverpool Women's

Liverpool Women's

Supporting World Prematurity Day

World Prematurity Day is an international awareness day for premature birth and all the issues surrounding it.  15 million babies are born too soon each year across the globe, that’s 29 babies every minute.  Sadly around one million of these babies will not survive.

There are many organisations and charities raising awareness across the UK of this very serious issue affecting parents and families supporting World Prematurity Day on Tuesday.

The Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, in partnership with the University of Liverpool, are in full support of raising awareness. The University of Liverpool’s Active Learning Laboratory, in the School of Engineering on Brownlow Hill, will be illuminated in purple to mark World Prematurity Day, on Tuesday 17 November 2015. As part of a national awareness scheme run by charities Bliss and Ickle Pickles, buildings across the UK will be lit up in purple. 


The Active Learning Laboratory is lit with hundreds of LEDs and can be seen as far away as Wirral

 The Harris-Wellbeing Research programme is aimed at improving the understanding of what causes preterm birth and what can be done to prevent it.  Researchers at the centre will investigate treatments using a personalised medicine approach, hoping to predict mums at risk of preterm birth. They have had overwhelming support with their research both from mums at high and low risk of preterm birth.


Professor Zarko Alfirevic, Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre – Director and Head of Department, Women's and Children's Health, University of Liverpool said “our Centre is fully behind this initiative and we are very proud to be part of it.  Our research endeavors are focusing on families already affected by prematurity, but we want all pregnant women, their families and public at large to join us in our efforts.  We must all work together on better prevention, better therapies and better support for affected families”. 

Dr Angharad Care, Harris-Wellbeing Clinical Research Fellow said “we are still unclear about the causes of preterm birth, which makes it very hard to predict and almost impossible to prevent. Cerebral palsy, problems with sight and hearing and recurrent respiratory illnesses frequently affect those that survive extreme prematurity.  Research is absolutely essential to help understand what triggers early labour if we are going to reduce rates of prematurity globally”. 

As part of the awareness day we are inviting people to “wear purple” to raise awareness and donations will benefit the Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Research Centre in conjunction with Liverpool Women’s Charity at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital.  In addition the Liverpool Women’s Charity is helping to organise a World Prematurity Day walk in Sefton Park on the evening of 17 November. 

If you would like to donate please use one of the donation boxes at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital Main Reception or Fetal Medicine Unit on the day, or on-line at The Kitty - Raising money for Liverpool Women's Charity, or Harris-Wellbeing Research Centre JustGiving Text HWWC15 £10/£5/£2 to 70070.

If you have experienced a preterm birth or would like to get involved in supporting the Harris Wellbeing Centre’s activities please contact Tracey Ricketts, for more information.

17 November 2015