AIIMS Bhubaneswar, India

AIIMS Bhubaneswar, India observed the World Birth Defects on March 3rd 2022. AIIMS Bhubaneswar has been observing the day since 2018. This year, an Awareness Programme for patients was organised in the OPD block of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, AIIMS Bhubaneswar.

Patients were advised the following to prevent birth defects in the unborn baby:

1. Plan their pregnancy
2. Optimise their health before pregnancy
3. Maintain ideal body weight and BMI prior to pregnancy
4. If diabetic, to achieve good glycaemic control before planning pregnancy
5. To have pre-conceptional folic acid tablets, 1-3 months before planning pregnancy and to
continue during the first 3 months of pregnancy
6. To get tested for certain infections like Syphilis in the first trimester itself, as the latter is
known to cause birth defects
7. To avail the 11-13 weeks (3 rd month) NT ultrasound scan and the 18-20 weeks (5 th month)
anomaly scan for detection of birth defects
8. To be updated with vaccinations, especially Rubella vaccination, at least 3 months before
planning pregnancy

An educational programme for obstetricians was held on the 10-14 weeks ultrasound scan by Dr Sweta Singh, Additional Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

A slogan writing programme was also organised on “Why birth defects matter in India”. It was opined that birth defects are common-affecting 6% of newborns, costly to treat, critical at times and often preventable, and hence, they matter. While AIIIMS Bhubaneswar has been diagnosing and treating a lot of these birth defects at minimal costs through various programmes, prevention is always better than cure. They also spread awareness on social media, including facebook and twitter using the #WorldBDDay hashtag.

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