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About the Profiles: The country profiles were launched on November 17, 2015 (World Prematurity Day), and were updated with available population-based data in mid-2017. Along with the updated profiles, a new profile was created for Myanmar, which was recently added as a USAID priority country.

To create the initial profiles, a country profile exercise was conducted for all 23 USAID priority countries during the first half of 2015. The process aimed to extract and compile national-level information related to preterm birth and low birth weight (PTB/LBW) and used secondary and primary data sources. Secondary data sources included population-based surveys such as the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and Service Provision Assessments (SPA) where available. Secondary data included basic demographic information related to PTB/LBW such as neonatal mortality rate, preterm birth rate, babies born <2500 grams and babies born <28 weeks of gestation. Information related to PTB/LBW interventions across the continuum of care through pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period, at various levels of the health system (from the household to the hospital) was also extracted. For example, the profiles look at the adolescent birth rate, short stature of women of childbearing age and obesity in women of childbearing age.

Primary data was collected through key informant interviews in each country. Information gathered is designed to provide insights into the health system as related to PTB/LBW including health policy, pre-service and in-service provider training from the community to hospital level and data on PTB/LBW generated by the national Health Management Information System (HMIS).

Using this information, country profiles were developed for each of the 23 USAID priority countries in 2015, and were updated with population-based data (with an additional profile for Myanmar created) in 2017. The profiles have been disseminated in each country via key informants and are intended to ignite dialogue in-country and catalyze action around PTB/LBW within maternal and newborn health programming.

The profiles will be updated again in 2019.