Birth defects in South-East Asia: a public health challenge: situation analysis
AbstractThe World Health Assembly has expressed concern about the high number of stillbirths and neonatal deaths occurring worldwide, and the large contribution of neonatal mortality to under-five mortality. The Assembly recognized the importance of birth defects as a cause of stillbirths and neonatal mortality, and that the attainment of MDG 4 on reduction of child mortality will require accelerated progress in reducing neonatal mortality, including prevention and management of birth defects. Resolution WHA 63.17, adopted in May 2010, forms the basis of initiatives on the prevention of birth defects in the WHO South-East Asia Region. Epidemiological information is required to design effective preventive strategies for birth defects and evaluate them upon implementation. It has been observed that, at present, none of the Member States has nationally representative data and information related to birth defects. In view of this, the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia has developed situation analysis based on the published literature and information obtained from experts and national programme managers from the Member States. The information from different countries varies in extent but provides a reasonable insight on the burden and common types of birth defects, and surveillance and preventive activities for birth defects that may be available in the existing programmes in the Member States. Further opportunities for preventive services, challenges and support required to develop surveillance and preventive actions for birth defects in the countries are also described. The Regional situation analysis would be useful to develop prevention programmes for birth defects in the Member States of the Region.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2013). Birth defects in South-East Asia: a public health challenge: situation analysis. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/204821