BMC Pediatrics is calling for submissions to our Collection on Prematurity and low birthweight infants in resource limited settings.
Prematurity remains a pressing global health issue, disproportionately affecting communities with limited resources and healthcare infrastructure. It remains the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5; in 2023 the World Health Organization reported on the survival rates of preterm infants, stating that more than 90% of extremely preterm infants (< 28 weeks) born in low-income countries die within the first few days following birth, yet in high-income settings, fewer than 10% of extremely preterm babies die.
Extremely low, very low, and low birth weight infants can result from intrauterine growth restriction, prematurity, or both, contributing to a variety of poor health outcomes. As with prematurity, low birthweight – particularly extremely and very low birthweight (ELBW; VLBW) – is closely associated with neonatal mortality and morbidity and is more common in resource-limited settings. However there are gaps in the data in relation to resource-limited settings, as many births occur in homes or small-health facilities, which may lead to underreporting of, or misclassification of, prematurity and low birthweight categories.
Prematurity and ELBW, VLBW, and LBW carry significant implications for infant health and development, often requiring specialized care and interventions. However, resource-limited settings face substantial barriers in providing adequate neonatal care, including limited access to neonatal intensive care units, shortage of skilled healthcare professionals, and insufficient resources for essential treatments and interventions, including long-care follow-up care and support for disabled infants and their families.
This collection aims to explore the challenges resulting from premature and low birthweight infants in resource-limited settings, as well as to identify innovative approaches used to improve healthcare outcomes.
Potential topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Estimates of morbidity and mortality among prematurely born and low birthweight infants across resource-limited settings
- Barriers and facilitators to accessing quality neonatal care in underserved areas
- Innovative and cost-effective strategies for the management of premature infants
- Community-based interventions and approaches to improve neonatal outcomes
- Long-term outcomes and follow-up care for premature and/or low birthweight infants in resource-limited settings
- Ethical considerations related to the care and management of prematurely born and low birthweight infants in resource-limited settings
- Promising interventions for the prevention of premature delivery and low birthweight infants
By highlighting the challenges, sharing best practices, and proposing innovative solutions, this collection aims to contribute to evidence-based strategies that will have a tangible impact on the health and well-being of premature and low birthweight infants in resource-limited settings.
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