Adoption of a comprehensive approach to minimize the occurrence of birth defects in low- and middle-income nations
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2
1 Deputy Director – Academics, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
MD, FAIMER, PGDHHM, DHRM, FCS, ACME, M.Phil. (HPE). Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Birth defects refer to those conditions that exist right from the time of birth and account for structural alterations in one or more parts of the newborn. It has been reported that 0.24 million and 0.17 million newborns have lost their lives within the first 28 days of life and between the ages of 1 month to 5 years respectively on an annual basis. Apart from deaths, birth defects have been linked to long-term disability, which accounts for significant impairment in the quality of life of individuals, their families, the community, and the health care delivery system. This calls for the need to take specific measures to ensure the prevention of birth defects either via eliminating the potential risk factors or through reinforcement of protective measures. To conclude, birth defects are a global public health concern linked to morbidity, disability, and mortality. Acknowledging the fact that most birth defects are either preventable or treatable, it is the need of the hour to take comprehensive and prompt measures to improve the existing scenario and thereby ensure improvement in the quality of life of individuals, families, and community.