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The Role of Neonatologists in Birth Defects (BD) Monitoring in Ukraine

1T. Vihovska, 2O. Shevchuk, 3O. Sulima, 4H. Vashchylin, 5W. Wertelecki, 6L. Yevtushok

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1Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Center, Lutsk, Ukraine; 2Children's Regional Clinical Hospital, Rivne, Ukraine; 3Neonatology Department of Kyiv Medical Academy of Postdiploma Education, Kyiv, Ukraine; 4Volyn Regional Children's Territorial Medical Center, Lutsk, Ukraine; 5University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, United States; 6Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Center, Rivne, Ukraine



Develop birth defects surveillance, care and prevention programs according to international standards in Ukraine.


USAID funding prompted the creation of two BD Centers with BD Monitoring in two regions in Ukraine impacted by the Chornobyl disaster. Scarcity of Medical Geneticists prompted charging neonatologists with the task to ascertain BD's while the geneticists categorize, manage, and formulate prevention strategies.


In January 2000, eighty neonatologists began BD population-based surveillance in Rivne and Volyn regions. Clinical data is illustrated by digital images. The BD focused activities by neonatologists soon prompted provincial health authorities to expand the BD registry to include all neonates. In addition, the health authorities are sponsoring a growing number of inter-disciplinary activities to further integrate obstetrics, perinatology, neonatology, pediatrics, pathology, and other disciplines that impact pregnancy outcomes and the prevention of birth defects.


One key element of Ukrainian-US BD Centers and surveillance is the role played by neonatologists who have introduced medical genetics, teratology, and BD prevention strategies to relatively remote areas of Ukraine.

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