The Problem of Prematurity

The problem of premature birth has been with us since at least Biblical times. But the rate has increased dramatically during the last 30 years, and no one knows why. 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 die, but 75 percent of these deaths are preventable.

ZPAP Overview

ZPAP serves as our sorority’s effort to support the March of Dimes in their Prematurity Awareness Month® campaign by targeting our community’s religious congregations. Since adopting this as a project in 2003, Zetas, Zeta Amicae, and Zeta youth auxiliaries have impacted the lives of well over 1.2 million men, women, and children in more than 39 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and abroad. During ZPAP, a religious leader, a designated congregation member, or a member of the Zeta family shares information with the congregation about prematurity.

Celebrating 50 Years of an Amazing Partnership

Celebrating 50 Years of an Amazing Partnership
Since 1972, the partnership between Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and March of Dimes 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.

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