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Birth Defects in India

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Laura Guitard

on 16 June 2016

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Transcript of Birth Defects in India

What are other countries doing to help?
We already know that the living conditions in India are not sufficient, but have we thought about what this is doing to newly born children? Pollution, lack of nutrition, lack of water, in some cases no shelter, are these conditions sufficient for raising a healthy child? The number of infants with genetic disorders and birth defects in India is the highest in the world. Throughout my project, you will learn what is causing these birth defects and why.
Background Information
The number of infants with genetic disorders and birth defects in India is the highest in the world.
Of the 12,896 babies born, 286 had birth defects.
Birth defects account for 8-15% of perinatal deaths and 13-16% of neonatal deaths in India.
The most common birth defects in India are: cleft lip, cleft palate, down syndrome, autism, muscular dystrophy, neural tube defects, and congenital heart disorders.
Maternal nutritional status:
"Maternal deficiencies of iodine and folic acid and other macro and micro nutrients are found to be associated with birth defects. Fifty-five percent of women were found to be anemic. Anemia is more common for women who are breastfeeding (63%) and women who are pregnant (59%) than others. More than one-third (36%) of women have a BMI below 18.5, indicating high nutritional deficiency."
Drug usage:
Children of women who smoke during pregnancy are found to have multiple birth defects.
Street drugs and prescription drugs are easily obtainable in India.
Their healthcare is inadequate so they sometimes self-medicate themselves.

Approximately 30% of birth defects cannot be traced to a specific cause.
Maternal age at pregnancy:
Incidence of Down syndrome is related to fertility of older females (35 years and older).
Unplanned pregnancies and no antenatal care:
Common reasons for unplanned pregnancies are inability to obtain birth control pills and such, lack of access to family planning information and services, personal or religious beliefs, inadequate knowledge about the risks of pregnancy following unprotected sexual relations, and incest or rape.
Rate of consanguineous marriages:

Consanguineous means descended from the same ancestor.
A consanguineous couple is more likely to have (1) early age at marriage and at first birth (2) higher number of infants born (3) same or lower rates of abortion, (4) higher rates of postnatal mortality (5) higher rates of congenital malformations and genetic disorder.

Birth Defects in India
What factors are contributing to the high rate of birth defects in India?
70% of birth defects are preventable before birth.
Most people in India don't have the money to do something about it.
There are organizations like Doctors Without Borders that help out.
Doctors Without Borders has 21 offices all around the world including one in Canada.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are very common birth defects In India and are easily fixable with a simple surgery.
Their medical teams provide services that range from basic vaccination campaigns, to maternal and pediatric care, to fighting neglected diseases, to complex surgery.
In conclusion, we have learned that the number of infants born with birth defects in India is the highest in the world, 70% of birth defects cannot be traced to a specific cause, and we learned some factors known to cause birth defects as well as some of the common ones in India.
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