Key Dates & Deadlines

  • May 1, 2022: Preview of Call for Abstracts Opens (Speakers & Poster Session)
  • October 30, 2022:  Call for Abstracts Closes
  • Nov 11, 2022: Abstract acceptance notification

Abstract Submission Link


Surveillance, clinical and public health professionals, high-level policy and program personnel from ministries of health, and professional, research and non-governmental associations and organizations working in the field of maternal child health—specifically birth defects and disabilities—are invited to submit abstracts for consideration.

The conference will be organized around the following topics, with the focus of each being on the presentation of successful best practices/models of surveillance, prevention, management and care of birth defects and disabilities in Latin America and around the world. Bodies of work from low- and middle-income countries are particularly encouraged.



Topics for Abstract Submission

  • Preconception and inter-conception care for prevention of birth defects, disabilities and other adverse outcomes.
  • Improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent care services across the life cycle to ensure optimal maternal and newborn health outcomes.
  • Folate status in women and neural tube defects risk-reduction.
  • Integration of antenatal care interventions to prevent birth defects.
  • Increased awareness of the risk of antenatal exposure to harmful substances (alcohol, medications and other drugs).
  • Improving the quality of antenatal care to prevent birth defects (e.g., infection, detection and management of diabetes).

  • National and/or regional surveillance systems for data tracking of birth defects and disabilities.
  • Guiding public health action using surveillance system data.
  • The design, integration and use of coverage and impact indicators around birth defects and disabilities in routine health information systems.
  • Driving action to improve outcomes and quality of care using birth defects and disabilities data including examples from national/sub- national programs.
  • Service readiness assessments and measures to shape facility-based care.
  • Innovations in the surveillance of birth defects in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)—the use of apps, telemedicine.
  • Experiences with the use of the birth defects atlas—success and challenges.

  • Early detection and diagnostic strategies for birth defects and disabilities: pregnancy and the neonatal and early childhood periods.
  • Newborn screening for birth defects.
  • Accurate and early diagnosis using innovative diagnostics including point-of-care diagnostics.
  • Clinical and home-based care of newborns with birth defects including early childhood development approaches.
  • Health care worker education and training to improve the quality of maternal and newborn health services, specifically related to birth defects and disabilities and other adverse outcomes.
  • Models of treatment and care for birth defects: referral, follow up and financing including:
    • Models in place for the medical or surgical management of birth defects once detected
    • Models for treatment and follow up care of congenital cardiac defects in LMICs
    • Models that have been developed to enable access to such care (networks of care, public, public-private, private), e.g., descriptions of levels of the health system at which treatments are available, referral pathways, financing care
    • Innovations including, e.g., telemedicine in the long term follow up of children with birth defects
  • Human resources for the management of birth defects: surgical manpower, early childhood development staff and other relevant cadres.
  • Experience from facilities, projects or programs for treatment, management and care of birth defects including corrective surgery and lessening the burden of disabilities.
  • Financing the management and care of newborns and children with birth defects including costing or cost effectiveness reports of interventions to prevent/screen/treat birth defects in country/sub-national contexts.

  • Models of equitable, respectful and dignified care for newborns with birth defects including parent engagement in care and decision making, protection from unnecessary separation and support for breastfeeding.
  • Strategies to reduce mortality and improve physical and developmental outcomes of newborns with birth defects and disabilities, including family-centered care and developmentally supportive and nurturing care. Participation of parents and families in care of the child with birth defects.
  • Initiatives focusing on eliminating stigma and discrimination against people with birth defects and their families.

  • The role of parent/patient organizations in advocacy, planning and delivery of care related to birth defects.
  • The role of health professionals in building community awareness regarding perinatal care and the prevention and management of birth defects.
  • Development of networks and partnerships for advancement of research, prevention and care.
  • National policies and programs targeting birth defects prevention and care. Policy and practice implications of recent scientific and epidemiologic research related to birth defects and other adverse outcomes.
  • Communication strategies, programs and other efforts that address sound information dissemination about birth defects and disabilities, including strategies to combat misinformation.


Abstracts may be submitted for one of the following forms of presentation:  


Oral presentation

Slideshow in PPT/PPTx format to be delivered by one of the authors in the assigned scientific sessions.

Presenters must attend the in-person conference to present their work, although, some presentations may be live streamed on the virtual conference platform.

Preformed Panel Presentations

Preformed panel presentations are put together by one lead organization (panel coordinator) and delivered together under one theme. Each preformed panel can be no more than 5 persons including a panel moderator.


Poster presentation

Poster creation guidelines will be forthcoming after abstract selection is completed.

  • When submitting the abstract, the preference of presentation type will be indicated. However, the Scientific Program Committee reserves the right to determine whether an abstract, if accepted, should be presented as an oral or a poster presentation, including those submitted as preformed panels. Detailed information on the specific guidelines for presentation preparation, including the duration and timing of the presentation, poster dimensions, accepted file type and uploading information will be emailed to the presenter upon abstract acceptance.
  • All oral or poster abstracts must be submitted online through the submission form fields found below. The text should not exceed 350 words, not including the title. Abstracts for preformed panels should not exceed 500 words. Abstracts that exceed these word limits will be rejected.
  • All abstracts must be submitted in English.
  • If your abstract is accepted, your poster or presentation slides will need to be in English.
  • Translations services for English—Spanish will be available for simultaneous symposia. For other languages, we encourage all presenters to deliver their presentations in English. However, if you prefer to speak in another language, your slides must be in English.
  • Nonstandard abbreviations are not allowed in abstract titles. Abbreviations may be used in the body of an abstract if they are defined at their first mention in the text.
  • The accuracy of the submitted abstract is the responsibility of the authors. Authors should prepare and proofread their abstracts carefully prior to submission.
  • All steps on the abstract submission form must be completed.
  • Do not include trade or brand names in your abstract.

Preformed Panels:

A lead organization may submit a proposal for a preformed panel. Preformed panels will highlight a global birth defects related issue as a topic discussion. Submissions should include a statement on the significance of the panel. The proposed panel can be related to research, program, policy or advocacy related concepts. The panel description should include the overall presentation topic and its alignment with the conference theme and priorities. All presenters' names, titles, institution and topic of their presentation should be included. No more than 4 presentations can be included on one panel. The panel can also be in the form of a moderated panel discussion with topics related to the conference topics. In general, it is expected that participants on a preformed panel will support their own travel, accommodation and registration fees. These costs may also be covered by corresponding institutions or by the lead organization.

Participation Support

Limited funding may be available to provide support towards the registration fee and hotel accommodation for a small number of participants with accepted abstracts. In some cases, airfare may also be covered. To qualify for this support, the presenter must be affiliated with a not-for-profit organization that has its headquarters in a low- or middle-income country (see here for World Bank country income classification). The provision and amount of this support will depend on the availability of funds.