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Special Communication
August 2016

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

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

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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