World Prematurity Day 17th November Lights The World Up Purple

The National Premmie Foundation invites all Australians to show their support for families coping with the birth or loss of a preterm child by Lighting Up Purple on November 17th in celebration of World Prematurity Day.

World Prematurity Day, dedicated annually to honour the babies who struggled to survive the year and remember the 1 million babies worldwide who sadly lost their fight for life.

Each year over 23,000 Australian babies are born prematurely. Globally, 15 million babies are born before 37 weeks gestation and around 1 million of these will not survive. Preterm or premature birth is the second leading cause of newborn death yet there is little public awareness of the fact.

The National Premmie Foundation invites all Australians to show their support for families coping with the birth or loss of a preterm child by Lighting Up Purple on November 17th.

The National Premmie Foundation is an Australian Charity and is the peak body in Australia for 5 charity organisations that support families who experience prematurity and neonatal loss. It is a founding member group and the Australian representative in the World Prematurity Network, which is working with other charities around the world to actively increase awareness of prematurity, help reduce the incidence of pre-term birth and also support families who experience premature birth or neonatal loss.

Carolyn Lindsey, President of the Foundation says, "We are asking people throughout Australia to get behind World Prematurity Day. You can be a part of the "Light It Up Purple" campaign in Australia by purchasing a National Premmie Foundation candle and lighting it in your own home at 7pm on November 17th."

Carolyn says, that the Light It Up Purple campaign shows families that the world cares about what they are going through.

"We want to see purple lights shining around the world on November 17th as the world remembers the little ones lost," she says.

Countries around the world are showing their support for World Prematurity Day by lighting up homes and buildings with purple for premmies. In 2011, the Empire State Building went purple and will again in 2012. This year the Questacon building in Canberra is lighting up purple and the foundation hopes to have many more landmarks "lighting up purple" in the years to come.

Australians are encouraged to learn more about the challenges that premature babies and their families face, and show their support by purchasing a National Premmie Foundation candle, making a donation or joining the World Prematurity Day Facebook page.