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World Birth Defects Day 2017 Raises Global Awareness of Birth Defects 

Posted on by Jennifer Williams, MSN, MPH, FNP-BC, Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders

World Birth Defects Stats

Jennifer Williams, MSN, MPH, FNP-BC

Every year, about 3% to 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 are a leading cause of death for babies and young children. Those who survive and live with these conditions have an increased risk of lifelong disabilities.

The third annual World Birth Defects Day is March 3, 2017. The day is designed to raise global awareness of birth defects and increase opportunities for prevention. In 2016, 33 countries joined together to support World Birth Defects Day, and social media presence of the hashtag #WorldBDDay reached nearly 4.8 million people around the world.

World Birth Defects Day
World Birth Defects Day

Over the past year, there has been an increased focus on birth defects as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and researchers worldwide worked to clarify the relationship between zika and microcephaly – a birth defect where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.

The goals of World Birth Defects Day are to

  • Increase the number of birth defects monitoring programs globally,
  • Improve existing birth defects monitoring programs,
  • Improve access to care for people with birth defects, and
  • Continue to research and identify the causes of birth defects, particularly if they can be modified in order to prevent birth defects.

Organizations and individuals around the world are invited to participate in World Birth Defects Day on March 3, 2017 by sharing stories and information about birth defects using the hashtag #WorldBDDay.

Posted on by Jennifer Williams, MSN, MPH, FNP-BC, Division of Congenital and Developmental DisordersTags , ,

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