Today is the first-ever World Birth Defects Day.
The March of Dimes, along with 11 other international organizations, created it to: raise awareness of this serious global problem and advocate for more prevention, care and research to help babies and children. Birth defects affect 8 million babies born worldwide and in some countries is the leading cause of death. According to the latest numbers available from Connecticut Chapter of the March of Dimes, in 2010, birth defects accounted for about one in seven infant deaths in our state. Many of the children who do survive often have long-term disabilities. Some of the most common birth defects include heart defects, cleft lip and cleft palate, Down syndrome and spina bifida. Birth defects affect all races and ethnicities.
The organizations are asking everyone to get involved today by participating in social media activities (#worldbdday) or by sharing a story about how birth defects affect you and your family. Besides those efforts, The March of Dimes Connecticut Chapter says these are their goals:
1. encourage the public, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and healthcare providers to improve the care of affected children;
2. expand referral and care services for all persons with birth defects; 3. fund more research into prevention of birth defects. For more information on the March of Dimes mission, their support services or their upcoming fundraiser, March for Babies, visit the March of Dimes Connecticut Chapter.