Western Australia

W A NT SA QLD NSW VIC T AS ACT

Co-Lead


Prof John Newnham: AM, Alliance Chair and WA Co-Lead
Dr Scott White: Co-Lead

In Western Australia, more than 3,000 babies are born too soon – approximately 1 in 12 pregnancies ends preterm.

  • In Western Australia, more than 3,000 babies are born too soon – approximately 1 in 12 pregnancies ends preterm. This rate is more than double amongst Aboriginal and disadvantaged communities.

    In November 2014, the Women and Infants Research Foundation launched the Western Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Initiative.

    Also known as The Whole Nine Months, this unique statewide program aimed to safely lower the rate of early birth, saving lives and preventing lifelong disability.

    The Initiative incorporated three distinct components which were underpinned by the introduction of new clinical guidelines:

    • Statewide obstetric outreach and health professional advice
    • The Whole Nine Months public health and social media campaign
    • The Preterm Birth Prevention Clinic at King Edward Memorial Hospital.


    Western Australia has now hosted the world’s first successful state-wide program designed to safely reduce the rate of preterm birth across a state. In 2015, which was the first full year of operation, the Initiative reduced the rate of early birth across our state by nearly 8%.

    The real face of this reduction is that almost 200 women were prevented from having a preterm birth; safe from the prospect of long-term care and permanent disability for their child as well as the heartache and financial burden associated with it.

    It is also the first program in the world to have safely lowered the rate of preterm birth across the gestational age spectrum, including births as early as the 28-31 week category.
    • 2019 Edition of The Whole Nine Months magazine

      Download here

    • American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology - Report of Major Impact
      Reducing preterm birth by a statewide multifaceted program: an implementation study

      Download here

    • Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
      Is it possible to safely prevent late preterm and early term births?

      Download here

    • O&G Magazine: Prematurity Edition
      Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance

      Download here

    • ​Preterm Birth Initiative recognised as a Report of Major Impact
      See video below 

  • One of the most critical components of the WA Preterm Birth Prevention Initiative was our Outreach program.

    The inaugural 2015 Outreach Program travelled more than 13,000 km across metropolitan, regionaland remote WA, engaging 540 of doctors, midwives and families about new breakthroughs in the field of preterm birth prevention.

    In 2019, the Outreach Program will once again traverse across the state to provide in-service education to health care professionals in their own work environments about new health interventions to prevent preterm birth and the science underpinning them.

    The following centres will be visited by the team of obstetricians and midwives who will educate
    attendees about new health interventions to prevent preterm birth and other ‘hot topics’ in
    obstetrics:
     

    • The Kimberley – Kununurra, Derby, Broome, Fitzroy Crossing
    • The Pilbara – Port Hedland, Karratha
    • The Midwest – Carnarvon, Geraldton
    • The Goldfields – Kalgoorlie, Esperance
    • The Wheatbelt – Narrogin, Northam
    • The South West – Bunbury, Busselton, Collie
    • The Great Southern – Albany
    • North Metro – KEMH, Joondalup Health Campus, Osborne Park Hospital
    • South Metro – Rockingham General Hospital, Peel Health Campus, Fiona Stanley Hospital
    • East Metro – Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital, SJOG Midland Public Hospital
    • Prof John Newnham: AM, Alliance Chair and WA Co-Lead
    • Dr Scott White: Co-Lead
    • Catherine Arrese: Alliance Manager
    • Alicia Bauskis: Health Care Economist
    • Hugh Dawkins: Health Policy
    • Dorota Doherty: Biostatistician
    • Richie Hodgson: Marketing and Media
    • Deb Portughes: Philanthropy

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