February 26, 2019

March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit for the health of moms and babies, is joining with more than 150 international organizations for 2019 World Birth Defects Day, observed every year on March 3, to raise awareness of this serious global problem and advocate for more birth defects prevention, surveillance, care, and research.

Join @modhealthtalk and @nacersano for the Global Twitter chat for World Birth Defects Day on Friday, March 1, at 11:00 AM Eastern Time, using hashtags #WorldBDDay and #ManyBirthDefects1Voice.

Every year, about 8 million babies worldwide are born with a serious birth defect. In many countries, birth defects are a major cause of child mortality: about 3 million affected children will die before age 5. Those who survive with birth defects may face a lifetime of physical or mental disabilities. These children need access to appropriate healthcare services to improve their quality of life.

Many birth defects can be prevented, notes Kelle H. Moley, MD, March of Dimes Chief Scientific Officer. She points to things women can do to help increase their chances of having a healthy, full-term pregnancy and a healthy baby.

“We still need more research on the unknown causes of birth defects and ways to better prevent and treat them,” Dr. Moley says.  “In addition, there is a tremendous need for more national birth defects surveillance systems to accurately measure the incidence of birth defects so that all babies can get the health care resources they need. March of Dimes urges the public, governments, non-governmental organizations, policymakers, researchers and health care providers worldwide to help us work together toward a healthier future for children.”