Amsterdam Meeting of the World Alliance of Organizations for the Prevention of Birth Defects
(May 29-31, 2000)

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Interview with Dr. W. Wertelecki, World Alliance Secretary/Treasurer
Reported by Mr. S. Lapchenko, Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Program Information Officer

The World Alliance of Organizations for the Prevention of Birth Defects (WAOPBD) seeks the participation of representatives of non-governmental advocacy organizations. Its most recent meeting took place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, May 29-31, 2000. The Meeting was held concurrently with the Meeting of the European Society of Human Genetics.

Birth defects are the leading cause of fetal and infant mortality and of developmental and intellectual disabilities. Many of these diseases are disabling rather than life threatening and their worldwide incidence is increasing.

The WAOPBD President and March of Dimes Vice-President for Scientific Research Dr. M. Katz opened the first Session of the Meeting. The main topics of this year's WAOPBD meeting were:

  • Position of Women Reproduction and Disease Prevention
  • Establishment of Information Networks and Access to Data
  • Prevention and Management of Genetic Disorders and Birth Defects in Developing Countries ...

The WAOPBD Vice-President Dr. Y. Poortman spoke about the 5 years of World Alliance, its history and present-day status.

The newly designed WAOPBD Internet site was introduced by Dr. W. Wertelecki, the World Alliance Secretary/Treasurer and Director of the Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Program.

Progress reports about International Centre for Birth Defects (Dr. A. Rosano, Italy) and EUROCAT: European Registration of Congenital Anomalies (Dr. A. Hazebroek, The Netherlands) followed.

I.R. Barylyak, M.D., Ph.D.
I.R. Barylyak, M.D., Ph.D.

In general, the program of the Meeting generated lively interest in many domains. Questions about Ukraine were touched upon more than once. On the second day of the meeting the situation in Ukraine and the role of theUkrainian Alliance for the Prevention of Birth Defects were examined in detail by Dr. W. Wertelecki. During the third day future plans for activities in Ukraine were discussed.

During the business meeting, the incorporation of the WAOPBD was announced. The WAOPBD is now registered in The Netherlands as a not for profit organization.

The WAOPBD President Dr. M. Katz, Vice-President Dr. Y. Poortman and Secretary/Treasurer Dr. W. Wertelecki were re-elected. The Board voted to expand its membership. Elected were Drs. M. A.F. El-Hazmi to represent Saoudi Arabia, A. L. Christianson to represent South Africa, Jai Rup Singh to represent India, and I. R. Barylyak, President of the Ukrainian Alliance for the Prevention of Birth Defects, to represent Ukraine. It is encouraging that the WAOPBD has now two Ukrainians on its Board.

Prevention and Management of Genetic Disorders and Birth Defects in Developing Countries Document

Dr. W. Wertelecki proposed using the above as a template
to generate a document for reporting developments
in territories of the former USSR

IBIS:International Birth Defects Information Systems

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21/January/2002 dc