Écouen, France, November 17, 2020 — Vygon, a specialist single-use medical devices group, is taking part in the 12th World Prematurity Day, started in 2008 by the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI). This year, Vygon is joining forces with SOS Préma, a French organization that helps parents of premature babies, to highlight the importance of optimal care and the value of family involvement.
As this year’s event will take place during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vygon’s specialist neonatal teams are organizing local initiatives adapted to the current situation, particularly virtual events, such as testimonials from neonatologists and parents who have experienced premature birth, in order to comply with the social distancing measures currently in place across much of the world.
“Despite the unusual circumstances and the need to implement preventive safety measures, our teams around the globe will be taking part again this year,” said Stéphane Regnault, CEO of Vygon. “Together with SOS Préma, we want to encourage discussions between caregivers and parents, involving the latter as ‘parental care partners’, while taking into account pandemic-related issues.”
Parental involvement is vital for the physical and cognitive development of newborn babies, whether through breastfeeding or skin-to-skin contact. COVID-19 has meant that parents have been less present, which has led to a decline in their ability to care for their premature babies.
“We are delighted to work with Vygon to increase public awareness of prematurity,” said Charlotte Bouvard, founder and president of SOS Préma. “Taking part in World Prematurity Day will be an opportunity to highlight the daily issues faced when caring for premature babies. We must not let our guard down during these difficult times.”
Prematurity is a global issue: more than 15 million babies are born prematurely every year. This number is steadily growing due to several factors, including the higher average age of pregnant women, increased use of assisted reproductive technology and changing lifestyles. The EPIPAGE 2 study shows that 15% of babies born very preterm (before 32 weeks) have a higher risk of cognitive deficits. World Prematurity Day is therefore a great opportunity to raise awareness that optimal and efficient care can promote their healthy development.
In 2019, Vygon teams took part in World Prematurity Day in over 50 countries around the world, including Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. Vygon partners and subsidiaries have reaffirmed their commitment while adapting to the unprecedented situation surrounding COVID-19.
About SOS Préma
SOS Préma campaigns to give all premature babies the best start to a healthy life. The organization works alongside medical teams to represent families before the French government and defend their rights.
Since 2004, it has supported more than 700,000 families with its helpline, online presence (website, social media accounts, etc.), guidance documents and volunteer visits.
Discussions with medical teams have resulted in the launch of several initiatives, including annual training to raise awareness of the experiences of parents of premature babies and a booklet entitled ‘The premature child’ that details specific care information for premature babies, as well as participation in task forces (ethics, standardization of practices, etc.) and research projects.
The organization’s awareness campaigns with French authorities have resulted in the extension of parental leave for premature births – for mothers from 2006 and for fathers from 2018 – as well as the creation of France’s Parenthood Charter in 2008, the French National Prematurity Forum in 2013 and a task force within the French National Assembly in 2016 to address prematurity and vulnerable newborns.
Vygon designs, manufactures and markets high-tech single-use medical devices for healthcare professionals in hospital and for private and independent practitioners. Vygon is a world leader within this industry, offering a wide range of products in a number of clinical specialties. Organized in five business units (Intensive Care – Obstetrics Neonatology Enteral – Intravascular Therapies – Cardiovascular & Surgery – Anesthesia & Emergency), Vygon combines local and international in-depth expertise and know-how in each individual field. With expertise right along the value chain, from product design to the delivery of training for medical personnel, Vygon provides health care professionals with effective and innovative products tailored to their needs and those of their patients, for optimum use and safety.
The company distributes over 205 million products a year in more than 120 countries through its network of 26 subsidiaries and 331 distributors. Vygon products display the CE and/or FDA mark and are manufactured in the group’s eight factories in Europe, the USA and Colombia. A family company founded in 1962, Vygon is based in Ecouen, in France’s Greater Paris region. It is a mid-sized business employing 2,350 staff worldwide. The turnover in 2019 was €338 million ($395.6M), with 81% of this derived from Vygon’s international business.