World Birth Defects Day Raises Global Awareness of Birth Defects

Posted on by Pamela Costa, MS, CDC Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders

dr-listening-heart-baby-Every year, an estimated 3%–6% of infants worldwide are born with a serious birth defect. Birth defects can affect an infant regardless of birthplace, race, or ethnicity. In some countries, birth defects remain one of the leading causes of death for infants and young children. Those who survive and live with these conditions are at an increased risk for lifelong disabilities.

On March 3, 2015, 34 countries on five continents joined together to support the inaugural World Birth Defects Day. With the goal to raise global awareness about the prevalence and severity of birth defects worldwide, participants reached nearly 3.4 million people via social media platforms by engaging in a Thunderclap and Buzz Day, using the hashtag #WorldBDDay.

This year, a partner group has reconvened, inviting other organizations to join, to continue to bring attention to this global public health issue. The goals for World Birth Defects Day 2016 (March 3, 2016) are to raise awareness about birth defects, reduce stigma, and increase opportunities for prevention by promoting 1) an increase in the number of and improvement to existing birth defects surveillance programs globally; 2) better access to care; and 3) additional research to identify causes, particularly modifiable causes of birth defects.

The partner group invites organizations around the world to participate in World Birth Defects Day 2016 by sharing stories and information about birth defects using the hashtag #WorldBDDay. For more information on how to contribute to these efforts, including instructions for participating in this year’s Thunderclap and Buzz Day, click here.

Posted on by Pamela Costa, MS, CDC Division of Congenital and Developmental DisordersTags ,
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2021
Page last updated: May 11, 2021
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