Newton and Einstein are famous around the world as two of the best scientists; but there is another special similarity between the two that most may be unaware of – both were born premature. Those who do not know are bound to be surprised, because we are all used to hearing stories of premature children being neglected. Yet here are the two of the world’s best scholars, born in a premature state. So let’s learn a little more about this.
Einstein’s head was larger than normal at birth. There was no end to his parents’ concerns about this. On the other hand, doctors had doubts about whether Newton would even survive. Yet the two not only survived, they thrived, enlightening the whole world with the light of their knowledge and discoveries. What’s surprising about this is that although the physical and mental development of premature babies is still in question, with proper care and awareness they are able to grow normally like other babies.
November 17 is the World Day of Premature Children, celebrated worldwide for all premature children and their parents. In the ongoing Corona situation, the slogan of this year’s Premature Children’s Day is “Zero separation between child and parent “. Newborns under 37 weeks are generally known as premature babies. Currently, every year in the world, about 1 million newborns die after being born prematurely. One of the leading global causes of mortality in children under 5 years of age is death due to various physical complications caused by prematurity or premature birth. Various studies in India, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and America have shown that premature newborns are at risk for several reasons. The risks are increased due to lack of proper treatment and necessary care, emotional distress of parents, high cost of treatment, inadequate medicines etc. Middle-class and lower-middle-class families in developed or developing countries of the world often deal with such situations. Considering these issues, this year special emphasis has been placed on the need for a strong bond between premature newborns and their parents.
This year’s main goals are twofold:
- Physical and mental challenges of premature newborns and what parents should do to address them
- What everyone in the family should do until the premature baby is ‘normal’.
Premature children have to struggle not only physically, but also mentally. Their families must also join the fight for life along with them. Even if they do not lack for love, sometimes their parents just don’t know what to do. Their family’s survival becomes difficult due to the mountainous challenges of home care, social restrictions, extra expenses, neglect etc.
Language barriers, and physical disabilities also make this life struggle very difficult for innocent children; but with everyone’s collective efforts, compassion, modern environmental systems, enlightened mentality, etc. premature newborns can return to a normal life, and even conquer the world. So this year, let us vow to eliminate the complications that premature children suffer by strengthening newborn-parental bonds.
Dr. Nusrat Farooq
Paediatrics & Neonatology
Neonatal Intensivist, Fellow Neonatology (Singapore)
Evercare Hospital Dhaka