As most pregnancies last 40 weeks, any birth that occurs on the 37th week or before is considered premature. Although the cause of premature babies remains unknown in more than half of all cases, the situation arises as frequently as in one among every 10 babies.
In light of this, Expo 2020 announced the launch of the UK- based Foundation Leo & Mia on November 17, coinciding with World Prematurity Day.
The foundation is committed to developing the necessary information systems to treat, support, and prevent premature cases within the first three years of a child’s life. It also generously offers families the essential knowledge, financial aid, and guidelines required to raise a healthy premature child with balanced cognitive development. “We are absolutely delighted to officially launch today and bring a message of hope to babies and their mothers in the UAE and around the world,” said Dr. Gopakumar Nair, chief executive of the Leo & Mia Foundation.
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The organization will also launch a family-integrated program alongside the Latifa Women and Children Hospital in Dubai to aid families with premature babies in financial, physical, and emotional areas of their lives. “Passion and dedication are what drives us to create a hopeful pathway for preterm babies together with their families to live a joyful life and realize their full potential,” Dr. Nair added.
The birth rate of premature babies continues to rise around the world—totalling 15 million births annually—and early delivery often leads to complications for both the mother and baby. Among them are difficulty breathing, and vision and hearing issues, making it one of the leading causes of fatality in children under the age of five. Leo & Mia offers pre and post-natal care through their care packages, which include medical interventions, rehabilitation programs, and maintenance guidelines. That is why being born too soon requires “a continuum inside and outside the hospital,” says Dr. Nair.