Why a World Birth Defects Day Movement?

The World Birth Defects Day (WBDD) movement aims to move our collective efforts from simply raising awareness to mobilizing resources and commitment to improve birth defects surveillance, research, prevention and care.

Although started as an annual event in 2015, this day has now become a movement. WBDD movement is needed because significant improvement in birth defects prevention and care will result only if a critical mass of many global and country-based or region-based organizations engage actively, not only in the few days around March 3, but also during the whole year. 

This is a movement which is not bound by time or geography – it’s global and ongoing!

Resources

www.worldbirthdefectsday.org is the platform/home for resources and information related to this movement. On social media, see @wbdday and hashtags #worldbdday, #manybirthdefects1voice,

#birthdefects, #congenitalanomalies.

What is the aim of the WBDD Movement?

The overarching aim of the WBDD Movement is advocating for improving:

  • Prevention of birth defects
  • Care of all individuals with any birth defect and related disabilities
  • Knowledge of the burden and causes of birth defects through epidemiologic and basic research

Who should partner in this movement?

Any of the following organizations working for improving the health of children with a birth defects, women, and men with an impact on the prenatal development can join this movement. Here some examples:

  • Parents/patients associations
  • Academic institutions
  • Research institutes
  • Maternal-child health hospitals or services (even small or part of them), public or private
  • Epidemiology programs, including birth defects registries
  • Public health agencies
  • Ministries of health, research and innovation, and other governmental agencies
  • Not for profit organizations / nongovernmental organizations (NGO)
  • Foundations
  • International agencies (e.g., UNICEF, WHO)

What is the first priority?

The first priority is to increase the visibility of birth defects and disseminate what is already known on how to prevent birth defects and how to improve health and quality of life of affected individuals. This should be available everywhere, in every country of the world and in every social group of a particular country. Wide dissemination of knowledge is only the first step. Then, effort to implement what is known need to be accelerated in all regions of the world as many birth defects can be prevented and those living with birth defects can be supported to reach their optimal status of wellbeing.

How to disseminate what is already known?

There are several strategies to disseminate evidence-based knowledge useful in health promotion.

The cheapest and most feasible way is to use web resources: your organization website and social media.

Websites have the advantages to give the widest, deepest and long lasting information. Social media have the advantages to be easy to access and have the greatest utility when are linked to an informative document.

Other strategies to disseminate knowledge are also welcome, but if the costs were a problem, let us start with the web resources.

What Partners of the WBDD Movement can do to disseminate what is already known?

  1. If your organization does not yet have a website, set up it. Information on website is always easily available to the users, much more than in Facebook page, for example.
  2. Post the WBDD logo in own web. The WBDD logo will remain permanently in home page or in a specific page of the web. The WBDD logo will have a link to the WBDD web https://www.worldbirthdefectsday.org/.
  3. Help increase the number of Partners in every Country/Region. Being part of a critical mass of Partners has many advantages, particularly when you want to have more visibility and when you need a large collaboration to realize your programs. Reach out to other potential Partners in your City/Region/Country and encourage them to join by applying at https://www.worldbirthdefectsday.org/application-form/ There is no deadline.
  4. Have a specific page dedicated to birth defects in your website. In that specific page, you should have your own informational resources on main topic of care and prevention of birth defects. 

Example templates:

Last, but the most important:

  1. Organize opportunities e.g., meeting (even small – without any cost), workshop, conference, training course, to increase the knowledge on birth defects prevention and/or care for target groups such as:
    1. Professionals
    2. Parents-to-be (target of prevention of birth defects),
    3. Parents of children / adolescents with a birth defects
    4. Adult with a birth defect

Conclusion

Being a Partner of WBDD Movement means that you are not alone. You will become an important part of a large community. You can be instrumental to help a colleague, you can ask advices, and in any case your participation, even if minimal, increases the critical mass needed to reach the aims.

See the full list of Partners of WBDD Movement at https://www.worldbirthdefectsday.org/partners/