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Special Communication |

Prevention of Congenital Disorders and Care of Affected Children A Consensus Statement

Gary L. Darmstadt, MD1; Christopher P. Howson, PhD2; Gijs Walraven, MD3; Robert W. Armstrong, MD4; Hannah K. Blencowe, MBChB5; Arnold L. Christianson, FRCP Edin6; Alastair Kent, MPhil7; Helen Malherbe, MSc8; Jeffrey C. Murray, MD9; Carmencita D. Padilla, MD10; Salimah R. Walani, PhD2 ; for the Participant Working Group of the Dar es Salaam Seventh International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the Developing World
[+] Author Affiliations
1March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
2Department of Research and Global Programs, March of Dimes Foundation, White Plains, New York
3Aga Khan Development Network, Geneva, Switzerland
4Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aga Khan University, East Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
5Centre for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive, and Child Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
6Wits Centre for Ethics, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
7Genetic Alliance, London, United Kingdom
8School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa
9Division of Global Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, Washington
10Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of the Philippines, Manila
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(8):790-793. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0388.
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As the Sustainable Development Goals are adopted by United Nations member states, children with congenital disorders remain left behind in policies, programs, research, and funding. Although this finding was recognized by the creation and endorsement of the 63rd World Health Assembly Resolution in 2010 calling on United Nations member states to strengthen prevention of congenital disorders and the improvement of care of those affected, there has been little to no action since then. The Sustainable Development Goals call for the global health and development community to focus first and foremost on the most vulnerable and those left behind in the Millennium Development Goal era. To maximize the opportunity for every woman and couple to have a healthy child and to reduce the mortality and severe disability associated with potentially avoidable congenital disorders and their consequences for the children affected, their families and communities, and national health care systems, we propose priority measures that should be taken urgently to address this issue.

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