Premature birth is the leading cause of death in newborns. Specifically, babies born to black women in the U.S. are more than 1½ times as likely to be born too early compared to babies born to white women. In 2011 in the U.S., the preterm birth rate for black infants was 16.8 percent, compared to the national average of 11.7 percent. Worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon every year. More than 1 million dies, but 75 percent of these deaths are preventable.
Since 1972, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and March of Dimes partnership has been impactful and successful. By joining forces to conduct prematurity awareness activities in houses of worship and congregations, worshipers learn more about the infant health crisis that nearly half a million families cope with each year. This year marks the 16th consecutive year of Zeta’s participation by leading this nationwide grassroots campaign.
For more information about Prematurity Awareness Month or World Prematurity Day on November 17th, visit March of Dimes at www.marchofdimes.org.