Born too soon: decade of action on preterm birth looks to the future, setting an ambitious agenda to reduce the burden of preterm birth by addressing factors outside of the health system that affect preterm birth; and, within health systems, by providing high-quality, respectful care for women and babies so that they can survive and thrive, no matter where they are born. 


  • Of every 10 babies born, 1 is preterm – and every 40 seconds, 1 of those babies dies
  • Preterm birth rates have not changed in the past decade in any region of the world
  • The impacts of conflict, climate change, COVID-19 are increasing risks for women and babies everywhere
  • Action is needed urgently to improve the prevention of preterm birth, alongside better care for affected babies and their families

How to Use

This report is intended to inspire and support country-led action: politicians, policy-makers and leaders of all stakeholder groups are its primary audience. However, leadership “from the top” often emerges in response to a unified call to action by a broad-based coalition of committed advocates “from the bottom”.