World Prematurity Day on 17 November is one of the most important days in the year to raise awareness of the challenges and burden of preterm birth globally.
Until 2008 the preterm birth community – parents and their children – did not have a unified voice or a formal place to turn when prematurity became their new reality. World Prematurity Day was introduced in 2008 by EFCNI and partnering European parent organisations. Canadian Premature Babies Foundation was founded in 2012 and we celebrated our first World Prematurity Day later that year.
World Prematurity Day allows families, friends, and health care providers to come together and raise awareness about the incidence of preterm birth from country to country, call for continued and increased research into the many causes of prematurity and ensure families know support is available when they need it.
We at the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation have been so proud to see our organization grow, and greater awareness of prematurity take shape in our country. Since our first year participating in World Prematurity Day events, we have seen the number of landmarks lit up for World Prematurity Day grow from two to over twenty landmarks in cities across Canada.
For World Prematurity Day 2016 cities participating in the Global Illumination Project (lighting up purple) include:
Ten buildings and monuments in Vancouver – that’s right, TEN!
Calgary Tower will join in for the first time! Telus Science World will light up purple, too.
The Winnipeg Convention Centre.
The Skylon Tower, Niagara Falls, Ontario – the Niagara Falls are receiving a lighting equipment upgrade at this time.
Toronto City Hall and their 3D lights, as well as the RBC building.
Mississauga City Hall participates for their second year.
Newfoundland Provincial Government building and the Confederation Building.
The SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon is hosting a huge event.
Victoria General Hospital and the Royal BC Museum
If we are missing any from the list, please let us know!
Throughout the evening of World Prematurity Day we will be accepting photographs of the many events and illuminated buildings via our Facebook Page and Twitter. We encourage you to send them and we will be happy to share your images.
If you are not near one of the listed monuments or a hospital event, why not create your own World Prematurity Day event right in your own home or work? How can you get involved?
- Dress your entire family in purple
- Wear purple ribbons
- Light a purple candle in your home
- Send a quick email to your preemie’s hospital and provide them an update and a thank you message
- Follow World Prematurity Day social media pages – here are a few:
- Share World Prematurity Day information on your social media
- Pose your child for a “then and now” photo as they hold their newborn photo and share it on your social media – send it to us because we’d love to see!
- Write your child a special note about how they’ve grown this year and any special memories you have. Tell them how far they’ve come!
When World Prematurity Day comes to an end, our work does not end. In the coming year we will continue to develop our peer support networks, continue to advocate for exclusive human milk diets for preemies, and continue to be a voice for Canada’s preemies and their families.
Have a Happy World Prematurity Day! We can’t wait to see your photos and stories as the day unfolds.