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Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Program

Participation in the 29th Annual Meeting of the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Monitoring Systems members

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Dr. N. Yuskiv,
Volyn UABDP Center Medical Geneticist

During September 21-24, there was a working meeting of the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Monitoring Systems (ICBDMS) members in Atlanta, USA. It was sponsored by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and "March of Dimes" Foundation, USA.

ICBDMS was established in 1974 with the purpose of international exchange of data and research activities concerning the prevention of birth defects. It is an independent, non-profitable organization; officially it joined the World Health Organization in 1986. The main objective of Clearinghouse activities is birth defects monitoring, their dynamics, prevalence and comparative characteristics. For this reason there were worked out international standards for birth defects monitoring. That's why the research activity is directed to the development of the birth defects prevention strategies.

"Passing the baton" to the meeting members, Dr. Lowell Sever, the president of the American National Birth Defects Monitoring Network said: "Such meeting is a possibility to meet with colleagues from the whole world, with those who share our aims and goals - to learn and understand the reasons of birth defects and their prevention - and who are ready to discuss these problems".

The current Clearinghouse research activity includes collaboration in the following projects:

  • Neural Tube Defects and implementation of the primary NTD prevention in Europe; investigation of the cause of NTDs, congenital heart defects, reduction limb defects and orofacial anomalies as weel as determination of possible methods and strategies for their prevention;
  • Investigation of prevalence of 677C-T - thermolabile allele MTHFR (5,10 - methylentetrahydrofolatereductase) in population of different regions;
  • Studying the possible correlations between usage of corticoids at the 1st trimester of pregnancy and orofacial anomalies; studying the dependence "Sex - Birth Defects";
  • Studying the causes of gastroschisis;
  • Studying the dependence between folic acid usage and quantity of multiple pregnancies.

At the working meeting there was presented an annual report of Clearinghouse for 2002 which included birth defects monitoring data for 2000, comparison with data for the previous years (in tables) and reports of different scientific committees and research projects. In this report 34 countries from 5 continents presented 36 birth defects monitoring programs covering 3 million newborns annually.

Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Program was officially accepted as an associated member of the International Clearinghouse during the 28-th Annual Meeting, which took place on September 1-5, 2001 in Groningen (the Netherlands) - the first country from the former Soviet Union (see report). During almost 3 years (since 2000 till nowadays) the computer monitoring of birth defects is provided in Volyn and Rivne Oblasts. The monitoring covers nearly 28,000 newborns annually and has the unique surveillance system in which neonatologists, geneticists and pediatricians take part. The 2000 monitoring data from these two oblasts of Ukraine was presented in the Clearinghouse report for the first time (see report).

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Sponsor: I.B.I.S. | Site Concept: W. W., S. L. | Page Content: N. Yuskiv
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21/January/2003 sl