Birth Defects: Public Health Impact

Birth Defects: Public Health Impact and Possible Strategies


Adolfo Correa, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, U.S.A., spoke on the public health impact of birth defects and possible strategies to deal with the problem.


Dr. Correa advised that infant and child mortality rates have fallen (Figures 7.1 and 7.2), but the percentage of infant deaths due to birth defects have increased (Figure 7.3). This is a global problem (Figures 7.4 and 7.5).


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Dr. Correa emphasized the impact of birth defects as a cause of lifelong disability (
Figure 7.6).


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Even in high income countries birth defects require increased health services (Figures 7.7, 7.87.9) and have major economic and functional impacts on families (Figures 7.10, 7.11, 7.12, 7.137.14)


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It is clear that these are major problems in developing countries where resources for medical care and family support are limited.


There are many research questions still to be considered in low, mid and high income countries (Figures 7.15 and 7.16).


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