In Romania, one of ten children is born prematurely and pre-term births are the main cause of infant mortality in our country. Prematurity is always on the public agenda and represents a real challenge for families and children born before their due date.

In order to draw awareness to this phenomenon, which has become increasingly important and impacts newborns, the family and society, we organized for the first time in Romania a parade dedicated to babies born before their due date. The event was organized with Unu si Unu Association, the first parents’ association protecting the rights of preterm infants.

The day of the event was deliberately chosen. The parade was held on the 10th of June, as this is the month that celebrates children, but also because babies born prematurely don’t have the opportunity to receive an Apgar score of 10 after birth. The association believes, however, that all babies deserve a 10, considering their power and will to survive. The first edition of the parade was about breathing, and about the inability of babies to breathe without medical assistance – therefore, the participants wore oxygen masks. We wanted to show, throughout the event, the baby’s journey from the mother’s tummy to the time at which it is connected to life support and starts breathing.

The journalists and bloggers were invited to attend the event with a special invitation: booties and bonnets specially made for children born prematurely.

The parade was widely reported in the media. All the national news channels were present at the event and the topic was covered in all the broadcasts of that day. The parade generated more than 70 media stories: TV, radio, press agencies, newspapers, news portals and blogs, with a reach estimated to over 5 million people.

The parade was one more step to achieving another major goal of the association and lent credibility with the authorities. In June, Unu si Unu Association launched The Guide of the Pre-Term Infant, a unique project in Romania, done with the support of experts in the field and supported by the Ministry of Health. The guide contains all the information that parents need and are not given in hospitals. 19,000 copies of the brochure will be distributed in all grade II and III maternity wards in the country, where pre-term infants are born.

Marsul Prematurilor_foto Andrei Gindac (2)