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World Birth Defects Day 2022 – March 3

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World Birth Defects Day(WBDD) is annually observed across the world on 3rd March to create awareness about birth defects and to highlight the importance to improve knowledge, prevention and management of these conditions.

3rd March 2022 marks the observance of the 7th edition of World Birth Defects Day. The first World Birth Defects Day was observed on 3rd March 2015 with the support of 12 organizations. 

The theme of WBDD 2022 is “Many births defects, one voice”. 

Birth Defects:

i.Birth defects are structural or functional anomalies like metabolic disorders which occurs during intrauterine life and can be identified during pregnancy, at birth, or after birth. 

ii.Birth defects are one of the important causes of new-born and childhood deaths, chronic illness and disability.

iii.It is estimated that globally more than 303000 new-borns die every year, due to birth defects and around 90000 deaths occur in South-East Asia.

iv.Every year, about 3-6% of infants worldwide are born with a serious birth defect. This means that life-altering conditions such as spina bifida and congenital heart defects affect millions of babies and families.

Efforts of WHO:

i.In 2010, following the World Health Assembly(WHA) Resolution on birth defects, the World Health Organization(WHO) Regional Office of South-East Asia (WHO-SEARO) initiated a holistic initiative on birth defects in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC-USA) in 2011-2012.

ii.WHO has also supported 9 countries of the South Asian region to prepare national plans on birth defects prevention and control.