GAPPS Fact Sheets

Preterm Birth and Stillbirth Facts

Globally, more newborns die each year from prematurity than from any other cause. Additionally, three million stillbirths occur each year. While some of these lives could be saved with existing interventions, very little is known about the causes of prematurity and stillbirth. To improve birth outcomes, we must understand the causes to discover long-term solutions. Learn more (PDF)

Preterm Birth

Each year, 15 million babies are born before the completion of 37 weeks of pregnancy. More than one million of these preterm newborns die every year and many other preterm newborns face serious short- and long-term health problems. Medical advancements have improved the survival of preterm newborns in high-income countries, but the goal is to eliminate preterm birth. Learn more: GAPPS Preterm Birth FAQ (PDF)

Learn more about preterm birth in Washington state. (PDF)


A stillbirth refers to a fetal death occurring late in pregnancy. The majority of stillbirths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and are strongly linked to maternal health. Most stillbirths go unrecorded and are rarely discussed in health policies—making them effectively invisible. Learn more: GAPPS Stillbirth FAQ (PDF)