On March 3, organizations around the world will mark the first-ever World Birth Defects Day by sharing stories and educating the public using the social media hashtag #WorldBDay.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the March of Dimes, and 10 other organizations have partnered for the awareness-raising event.
The goal is raise awareness not just about the incidence of serious birth defects, but also to increase understanding of the available treatments, expand services for those with birth defects, and improve implementation of primary prevention programs.
Almost 8 million infants each year are born with a serious birth defect of genetic or partially genetic origin, according to the March of Dimes Global Report on Birth Defects. Hundreds of thousands more are born with serious birth defects caused by postconception maternal exposure to environmental agents, including alcohol, medications, rubella, syphilis, and iodine deficiency.