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International Birth Defects Information Systems Special Reports
Mission: Amelioration, Prevention and Genetic Counseling concerning Birth Defects, Genetic Disorders, Congenital Malformations, Anomalies and Developmental Disorders

  • Establish a birth defects surveillance system based on international standards.
  • Contribute to the better care and prevention of birth defects.
  • Contribute to the creation of a Ukrainian Alliance for the Prevention of Birth Defects.

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1st Central and Eastern European Summit on Preconception Health and Prevention of Birth Defects

  Abstracts per OMNI-Net:

Chornobyl Disaster 20th Aniversary Commemoration


RATES OF NEURAL TUBE DEFECTS IN UKRAINE HIGHEST IN CHORNOBYL IMPACTED REGIONS

   

... Following the Chornobyl disaster, it was determined that the areas most heavily contaminated by ionizing radiation lie principally in Northwest Ukraine. ... 65 percent of internal radiation was from Caesium (Cs-137) ... In 2002, we noted elevated rates of spina bifida, anencephaly and encephaloceles ... Data collected during 2002-2004 and preliminary data from 2005 confirmed ongoing epidemic rates of NTD in Ukraine. ... The raions impacted by Chornobyl belong to a region called Polissia where the NTD rates were the highest we found in Ukraine ... To what degree the ongoing chronic low dose ionizing radiation alters the DNA of the population, is not known ... it is known that folate deficiency results in suboptimal cellular DNA repair capacity. These are issues that should be clarified by more research. ... Every day folic acid enrichment programs are delayed, there is a tragic cost measured in infant lives lost. ...

Full text article (English | Ukrainian)

Ukrainian government has not implemented mandatory folic acid fortification, as done by some other 40 countries of the world. The cost of each day of delay is the life of an infant.


Birth Defects Surveillance in Ukraine: A Process

 

Birth defects (BD) surveillance using international standards was introduced in Ukraine by a network of five BD centers ... BD centers provide resources to access current and comprehensive information and to nurture partnerships with physicians, administrators, parental support groups, educators, and humanitarian assistance organizations. ... The network is now incorporated as OMNI-Net Ukraine. ... has documented high prevalence rates of neural tube defects (NTD); fetal alcohol effects (FAE); and idiopathic developmental retardation among orphans ... program objectives include: universal folic acid flour fortification, ... reduce FAE ... early infant stimulation centers ... linking BD prevention with bioethical considerations ...

Full text article (English | Ukrainian)


  • Irregular patterns of Caesium-137 (Cs) pollution of Ukrainian territories.

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  • Map illustrating Cs-137 milk contamination in Polissia raions.
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  • OMNI-Net BD surveillance centers were established in 2000 (in blue) and in 2002-2003 (in green). In the upper left corner are shown the raions (counties) of Rivne and Volyn oblasts, nine of which have been designated as contaminated by Chornobyl ionizing radiation (shaded in gray).
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  • ... between 2000 and 2007 were noted six instances of conjoined twins in the Rivne oblast. ...  a very rare malformation ... One twin in this series had a spina bifida.
  • More ...

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