More 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!
- Support the 2017 WBDD Thunderclap campaign
- Join the buzzday on Twitter on March 3 — #worldbdday
- Official WorldBDDay logo
- WBDD Twitter cover
- WBDD Facebook cover
- WBDD 2017 Toolkit
- WBDD Charter document
- WBDD Charter Document -->SPANISH
- Application Form Participating Organization 2017
- Check out the report of 2016 WBDD activities to learn how you can support WBDD!
World Birth Defects Day founding organisations
- CDC – U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- ECLAMC - Estudio Colaborativo Latino Americano de Malformaciones Congénitas
- EDRIC - European Dysmelia Reference Information Centre
- EUROCAT – European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies
- IFSBH – International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
- ICBDSR – International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research
- March of Dimes
- Neonatal Alliance - Latin America and Caribbean Newborn Health Alliance
- NBDPN – National Birth Defects Prevention Network
- PAHO – Pan American Health Organization
- PMNHC – The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health
- WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia
For more information on birth defects (congenital anomalies), visit:
- WHO Congenital anomalies Fact sheet
- WHO Health topics: Congenital anomalies
- CDC National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)
- National Birth Defects Prevention Network
- EUROCAT: European surveillance of congenital anomalies