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Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Program
Visit by the US Ambassador

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Dr. T. Vihovska,
UABDP Surveillance Director

On February 27, 2002 the US Ambassador to Ukraine Mr. Carlos Pascual, visited the Volyn Center of the Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Program.
Dr. T. Vihovska (center) telling Mr. C. Pascual (right) about the Program activities
Dr. T. Vihovska (center) telling Mr. C. Pascual (right)
about the Program activities

Bread from Lutsk bakery # 2
At parting, the Ambassador wrote the following:
"I congratulate you on your innovative work to prevent birth defects and to improve the health of new born children and their mothers. Your work serves as a model for others in Ukraine, and it is an example of the importance and potential of the partnership between our countries".

The UABDP team members informed their distinguished guest about our Program activities. The Ambassador became familiar with "I.B.I.S." (International Birth Defects Information Systems) website, offering nearly 200 fact sheets in Ukrainian about common birth defects. The geneticists described how the Program opened new avenues to better diagnose and manage birth defects. 

Tele-medicine consultations with major specialists from USA and other countries is a major component of the clinical program. It was noted that the creation of a Newborn and of a Birth Defects Registries created a basis for making the decision to create the Volyn Perinatal Center. Mr. C. Pascual visited the Center construction site.

Ambassador Pascual showed great interest about possibility of NTD prevention by fortification of flour with folic acid. A pilot project implementation is to start in Volyn. Representatives of Lutsk bakery # 2 presented Mr. C. Pascual the bread baked at this facility and expressed interest to start fortification of flour with folic acid as soon as possible.

The UABDP team Members, the Volyn Regional Children Territorial Medical Center staff, and oblast authorities expressed their sincere gratitude to the US Government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for their invaluable contribution toward preserving the health of Ukrainian children. 

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IBIS:International Birth Defects Information Systems

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15/April/2002 dc