World Birth Defects Day logoMore than 8 million babies worldwide are born each year with a serious birth defect. Birth defects are a leading cause of death in the first year of life, and babies who survive may have life-long physical or mental disabilities. Spina bifida is the most common kind of neural tube defect (also called NTD). NTDs are birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. Birth defects are health conditions that are present at birth.

The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and 11 other international organisations working on birth defects created the first World Birth Defects Day (WBDD) on 3 March 2015 to raise awareness of this serious global health concern and advocate for more prevention, care and research to help babies and children. Now each year we use this day to urge the public, governments, non-governmental organizations, policymakers, researchers and health care providers around the world to help us work together toward a healthy future for all children. 

Birth defects affect all races and ethnicities. Everyone can get involved in raising awareness. Please help us mark the World Birth Defects Day by participating in social media activities and share a story about the impact of birth defects on you and your family. If you are a health care professional, speak about the steps women can take to help lower their risk of the risk of their baby developing a birth defect. 

In 2017, more and more organisations committed to promoting World Birth Defects Day, see the list of WBDD Participating Organisations (updated January 31, 2017).

Lend us your voice!

World Birth Defects Day founding organisations

 For more information on birth defects (congenital anomalies), visit:

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