World Birth Defects Day 2023: According to the WHO, nine out of ten children with serious defects are born in low- and middle-income countries

New Delhi, March 2nd: The World Health Organization (WHO) has underscored the urgent need for countries in the Southeast Asia region and worldwide to strengthen health systems to prevent, detect, treat and treat birth defects to mark this year’s World Anniversary to commit (March 3rd).

Globally, an estimated 8 million newborns are born with a birth defect each year. Nine out of 10 children born with a serious birth defect are from low- and middle-income countries, the global health agency said. The deformities are structural or functional abnormalities that occur during intrauterine life. World Birth Defect Day 2023: WHO reaffirms its commitment to the prevention and control of birth defects.

The most common serious birth defects are heart defects, neural tube defects, and Down syndrome, but there are many others that can be caused by one or more genetic, infectious, dietary, or environmental factors.

“In the Southeast Asia region, birth defects are the third leading cause of infant mortality and the fourth leading cause of neonatal mortality, accounting for 12 percent of all neonatal deaths. Between 2010 and 2019, the share of birth defects in child mortality in the Region increased from 6.2 percent to 9.2 percent, and in four countries birth defects now contribute more than 20 percent of under-five mortality,” he said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia.

Singh said birth defects contributed to at least 117,000 deaths in the region, about 22 percent of the global total in 2019. “Since 2014, WHO has supported all countries in the Region to rapidly and sustainably reduce the number of maternal and newborn children and infant mortality, which includes targeted interventions to prevent, detect, treat and treat birth defects. All Member States have introduced surveillance of birth defects in hospitals and are implementing national action plans for the prevention and treatment of birth defects,” she added.

READ :  Novocure attends the 41st Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

Six member states – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar and Nepal – continue to support an online database developed by WHO to better track birth defects. All countries have introduced routine rubella vaccination for girls and have achieved an average immunization coverage of 83 percent. Maldives and Sri Lanka have eliminated rubella, while Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Timor-Leste have controlled congenital rubella syndrome, Singh said.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on March 02, 2023 11:34 PM IST. For more politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle news and updates, visit our website