The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) has announced that they, along with a network of 11 leading global health organizations, introduced the inagural World Birth Defects Day at March 3, 2015. The purpose of this observance is to raise awareness about the occurrence of birth defects, develop and implement primary prevention programs, and expand referral and care services for all persons with birth defects.

Birth defects are a common, costly, and critical public health challenge. Did you know that birth defects occur in 1 in every 33 infants? Birth defects are the leading cause of death in infants and young children. And, for babies who survive and live with these conditions, birth defects increase their risk for long-term disabilities.

Our vision is for every child to be born with the best health possible and the potential for a full and productive life.

Birth defects affect not only individuals and their families, but also impact their communities and all of us. We need your help to promote this day by telling a story about someone living with a birth defect, describing how birth defects have impacted families, or explaining how women can lower their risk of having a baby with a birth defect. If you are interested in developing a story or other piece on World Birth Defects Day and/or global birth defects prevention, spokespersons from each organization within our network are available to speak with you.

To read more about IF, link to the website here.

*The Arkansas Folic Acid Coalition shares the same priority as the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus:  prevention. Taking folic acid prior to conception may reduce the risk of Neural Tube Defects. We recommend 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid per day for females.