Every year, 20,000 babies are born prematurely in Tunisia, or about 50 babies a day who are born before the end of 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Professor Zahra Bensaid Marrakchi, Head of Neonatal Resuscitation and Neonatal Reanimation at Charles Nicolle Hospital in Tunis, said that this number represents 10% of births per year (more than 200,000).
According to her, several risk factors are responsible for prematurity in pregnant women, such as those under 18 years of age or over 35, smoking, alcoholism, multiple pregnancy, history of preterm birth, stress, excessive fatigue related to professional or family work and daily commuting.
According to Pr Marrakachi, in Tunisia and as in most countries, prematurity becomes the leading cause of death at birth. Every year, about 15 million babies are born prematurely (before 37 full weeks of gestation).
This number is increasing. At the origin of almost one million deaths per year in 2015, complications of preterm birth are the leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age.