WiRED Releases Four-Part Module on Birth Defects




irth defects affect millions of families worldwide every year. About one in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect caused by genetics or by maternal exposure to environmental agents.


WiRED International just launched a Birth Defects Module for healthcare professionals into its free e-library. WiRED’s team of medical writers felt it was important to create a four-part module in order to offer a thorough review of issues central to this topic.


A birth defect is defined as any health problem or physical abnormality that is present at birth. Some birth defects can be identified during pregnancy, some are identified at birth, and others, such as hearing defects, are not detected until later in infancy.


Birth defects also may be called congenital anomalies, congenital disorders, or congenital malformations. Congenital refers to existence at or before birth. The most common of the severe congenital disorders are heart defects, neural tube defects and Down syndrome.


Some congenital anomalies can be prevented. For example, pregnant women can protect their unborn children from many threats through vaccination, adequate intake of folic acid or iodine (through fortification of staple foods or supplementation) and adequate prenatal care.


WiRED’s Birth Defects Module provides healthcare professionals with reliable and current information peer-reviewed so that they can offer their best services to people in underserved communities around the globe.



What Does the WiRED Birth Defects Module Cover?

The WiRED module introduces the topic of birth defects, examines their causes from genetic and chromosomal problems to environmental factors, lists the many types of birth defects and discusses prevention. The course addresses the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, the most common birth defect, and continues by providing information on the following specific birth defects: anencephaly, anophthalmia/microphthalmia, anotia/microtia, cleft lip/cleft palate, congenital heart defects, craniosynostosis, Down syndrome, encephalocele, gastroschisis, hypospadias, microcephaly, omphalocele and spina bifida.





Quiz Questions from WiRED’s Birth Defects Module

1. Which infections during pregnancy can result in birth defects?

 Toxoplasmosis  Rubella  Varicella  Syphilis  All of the above

2. Working or living near or in waste sites, smelters, or mines may be a risk factor for having a fetus or neonate affected by congenital anomalies.

 True  False

3. It is estimated that about ____ of severe congenital anomalies occur in low- and middle-income countries.

 64%  74%
 84%  94%

4. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause what?

 Neural tube defects  Heart defects
 Cystic fibrosis  Microcephaly


WiRED’s Mother and Child Health Series


WiRED’s Mother and Child Health Series provides a 24-part comprehensive training program to assist families, caregivers, community health workers and others with subjects related to the following four topics: Before Pregnancy, Pregnant Now, Labor and Delivery, and Parenting. The Mother and Child Health series will be used by schools, clinics and hospitals and nongovernmental organizations that help families prepare for a healthy pregnancy, delivery and the years of childhood up to age five.


WiRED embraces WHO’s maternal, newborn and child health principle, “Continuum of Care,” in which skilled care during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period prevents complications and allows for their early detection and appropriate management.






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