Implementation of the World Alliance for the Birth Defects Prevention in Ukraine
1I. Barylyak, 2I. Kharytonova, 3W. Wertelecki, 4O. Kotlyar, 5T. Yaroshenko, 6L. Yevtushok, 7T. Vihovska, 8O. Sulima
1Ukrainian Alliance for the Prevention of Birth Defects, Kyiv, Ukraine; 2Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Center, Kyiv, Ukraine;
3University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, United States; 4OMNI Birth Defects Center, Kyiv, Ukraine; 5Ukrainian University "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy" Library, Kyiv, Ukraine; 6Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Center, Rivne, Ukraine; 7Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Center, Lutsk, Ukraine; 8Neonatology Department of the Ukrainian Academy of Post-Diploma Education, Kyiv, Ukraine
Birth Defects (BD) Prevention Alliance at regional (Alabama), National (Ukraine), and International levels (World Alliance of Non-Govermental Organizations for the Prevention of Birth Defects WANGOPBD) provide a basis for two generalizations and a recommendation. A broad definition of BD as any structural or functional anomaly caused by embryonal, fetal, and child development facilitates communications with healthcare planners and providers. In Ukraine, such risk factors as chronic low-dose ionizing radiation from the Chernobyl disaster, iodine poor soils, low consumption of folic acid, and high consumption of alcohol are then perceived as causes of BD. Emphasizing that mental retardation, malformations, congenital syphilis, and childhood cancers offer are BD, stresses the crucial role of genetics and teratology in public health. The idea that "every child has the right to be born free from preventable BD" generates strong empathy. This goal helped to forge BD Prevention Alliances linking a variety of parental support groups with a variety of professionals and opinion makers. An Alliance confers a stronger voice to what may have been a number of "small" advocacy groups. BD Alliances are strengthened by resource centers we call "Omni BD Centers". The Centers offer a common ground shared by lay and professional members. The main components are information materials, technical and staff assistance, conference facilities, and access to the Web.
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