Chinese study pregnancy planning and primary preventive measures

Measures for prevention of neural tube defects (NTDs) have been recommended for many years in China, but the compliance with these measures is unsatisfactory. A 1:1 matched case-control study was conducted between 349 women who had been pregnant with a child with an NTD in the last two years in two provinces and 349 women who delivered babies without obvious birth defects as controls. In the group with NTD affected pregnancies, only 28,4% had planned their pregnancy and just 8,6% took Folic Acid prior to conception. In both groups, those who did plan their pregnancy were much more likely to have preconception examinations and to report Folic Acid intake. The researchers conclude that Folic Acid consumption prior to conception, preconception examinations, and health education have preventive effects on NTDs.
Pregnancy planning can significantly promote compliance with primary preventive behaviors

Prevalence study Spina Bifida among children and adolescent in the US

The CDC National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities in Atlanta initiated a first study to provide population-based estimates of the prevalence of Spina Bifida among children and adolescents in 10 diverse regions in the United States. The study also examined variations in prevalence of Spina Bifida among children, according to age group, race/ethnicity, and gender. The overall prevalence of Spina Bifida among children and adolescents 0 to 19 years of age was 3,1 cases per 10000, which represents about 24860 children and adolescents living with Spina Bifida in the United States in 2002. These estimates could be useful for determining the need for local and regional resources to address the long-term care needs of those born with Spina Bifida.
Across all the racial or ethnic groups, spina bifida affected more girls than boys

We are not God

In July IF organized a panel discussion at the conference for Pan African Pediatric surgeons (PAPSA) in Dar es Salaam. IF President Pierre Mertens interviewed Eli Skattebu (Norway), Sam Wasike (Uganda) and Juliana Auma (Kenya) on their daily life experience and asked two surgeons, Dr. Karmakar (India) and Dr. Kashinga (Zambia), to react. Dr. Dan Poenaru (Kenya) reported on a quality of life study of children with Spina Bifida in Kenya. In a lively discussion several doctors stated: we are here to serve all kids. We are not God to decide who will live or not.
IF President Pierre Mertens talks with Eli Skattebu from Norway about living with Spina Bifida

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