16 February 2017 // Help raise awareness for birth defects surveillance, prevention, care and research worldwide by lending your voice to raise awareness on the 3rd World Birth Defects Day (WBDD)! Sign up with your Facebook, Twitter and/or Tumblr account to the Thunderclap campaign and a one time message will be automatically posted for you on March 3, 2017. Check out the WBDD 2017 Toolkit to see what else you can do to support this important day. If you are a health care professional, speak about the steps women can take to help lower the risk of their baby developing a birth defect. Help us to reach as wide an audience as possible! Birth defects affect about 6% of infants and result in approximately 8.1 million birth defect-related disabilities every year. An estimated 303,000 newborns die during the first 28 days of life every year from birth defects.
16 February 2017 // The IF Youth Group has been renewed and we would first like to thank our previous members Dominik Drdul and Rowan Ford for their contribution. Our new members are Adrian Filip (Poland), Mirela Bukovac (Croatia) and Nele Vanhecke (Belgium). Our first meeting took place in Maastricht (Netherlands) on February 4-7th. We did many team activities, organised our future plan and participated in YO!Fest. Among our objectives are: working closer with IF, highlighting mental health issues and promoting our work throughout social media. Another core activity will be to strenght communication with different youth organisations in Europe such as Youth Groups of the European Disability Forum or European Patients Forum. Our second live meeting will be in Stockholm, Sweden. We all look forward to a successful year!
13 February 2017 // The mental health of persons with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and their family members is an IF priority area in 2017. Misdiagnosis, cognitive issues, lack of self-esteem, lack of proper care and support, frequent hospitalisation, chronic pain, stigma and discrimination are factors that can have a negative impact on people's mental health. IF, together with 16 other organisations, endorsed the Joint Statement on Mental Health, which was originally prepared by Mental Health Europe and EUFAMI. Mental health is as essential as physical health to well-being, and the partners to this joint statement call for action to improve mental health and well-being as well as mental health systems in partnership with service users, families and carers.