Brazil, Gates Foundation sign deal on preterm births

Brazil and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced Tuesday a deal to earmark $8 million for projects to reduce premature births nationwide.

More than 10 percent of infants born in Brazil arrive prematurely. Brazil is among 15 countries with the highest number of premature births in the world, according to data from the World Health Organization and the Health Ministry.

The main cause of death for infants under the age of seven days is linked to .

"We are going to mobilize the scientific community with innovative projects to help the country resolve this problem, with solutions having a global impact," said Carlos Gadelha, a health ministry official as he announced the accord here.

"It is a huge global challenge and not just for Brazil," said Steven Buchsbaum, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Fifteen million children are born premature in the world each year and these births leave them vulnerable to diseases and hampers their cognitive development."

Buchsbaum said that little money has been spent on preventing premature birth, and the process of human gestation is "still a scientific mystery."

Some 52 percent of deliveries in Brazil are done by caesarian section, a percentage that rises to 90 percent in private hospitals, said Maria do Carmo Leal of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation.

She outlined a study funded by Brazil's health ministry as a starting point to help reduce preterm births.

The Gates Foundation hopes to apply results of the Brazilian projects in countries with high rates of preterm births.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Preterm births rise 36 percent since early 1980s

Jan 07, 2009

New government statistics confirm that the decades-long rise in the United States preterm birth rate continues, putting more infants than ever at increased risk of death and disability.

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

Aug 29, 2014

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

Aug 29, 2014

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

User comments