World Birth Defects Day, March 3, 2017
Prevent and control birth defects
Birth defects affect approximately one in 33 infants and result in around 3.2 million birth defect-related disabilities across the world annually. In the South-East Asia Region, each year birth defects are responsible for an estimated 90 000 newborn deaths.
When not fatal, birth defects can result in long-term disability, impacting individuals, families, health systems and societies. The most common birth defects are heart defects, neural tube defects, and Down’s syndrome, with 94% of severe cases occurring in middle- and low-resource settings.