29 November 2022 

Congenital anomalies are now the leading cause of infant death in Brazil. To tackle this problem, the public health focus must be on preventing congenital anomalies where possible, and providing excellent care to promote survival and reduce disability.  The Brazilian Ministry of Health is embarking on a nationwide training program of workshops to improve the diagnosis and reporting of congenital anomalies to the health surveillance system, working in partnership with birth defect experts such as Prof Lavinia Schuler-Faccini. These workshops use the Global Birth Defects app (Um guia para instalar e utilizar o aplicativo Global Birth Defects • Global Birth Defects (, as well as other resources that have been created to support birth defect diagnosis, prevention and care [Congenital Anomalies - Integrated Health Surveillance Platform - Ministry of Health (].

sSCAN Seminar - Neural Tube Defects in sub-Saharan Africa

4 October 2022

Register now at Webinar Registration - Zoom


COVID-19 and Congenital Anomalies

9 March 2022

New methodological publication

Most pregnancy research related to the COVID-19 pandemic, whether the disease, its treatment, or vaccines, has concerned second and third trimester exposures. This paper investigates how we can generate more high-quality evidence about the adverse effects of periconceptional and first trimester exposures, specifically in relation to congenital anomalies.

COVID‐19 in pregnancy—what study designs can we use to assess the risk of congenital anomalies in relation to COVID‐19 disease, treatment and vaccination? - Dolk - - Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology - Wiley Online Library

March 3 - World Birth Defects Day

3 March 2022

All over the world, organisations and individuals are coming together to show their support for preventing deaths and improving lives affected by birth defects.

More than 5 million babies are born each year with birth defects (congenital anomalies), the vast majority in low and middle income countries.

If we are to meet the sustainable development goals by 2030, in particular in relation to ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age (sdg3.2), and achieving universal health coverage and access to high quality essential health care services (sdg3.8), then each country must have a clear strategy to address birth defects.

 ask your ministry of health, what is its strategy to:

  • Prevent birth defects
  • Improve diagnosis and care of all individuals with any birth defect and related disabilities
  • Increase knowledge of the prevalence and causes of birth defects through epidemiologic and basic research

On the global birth defects website, we are happy to offer you an inventory of many freely available sources of information. If you would like to add others, please contact us at 

Launch of the website of the new subSaharan African Congenital Anomaly Network (sSCAN)

23 November 2021

 Home • Sub-Saharan Congenital Anomalies Network (

 We are happy to announce the launch of the sSCAN network website, at the time of the fifth sSCAN webinar. The aim of the sSCAN network is to improve the diagnosis of congenital anomalies and care for affected children and families, and promote the identification and prevention of their causes, by building an evidence base through surveillance and research, improving capacity for collaborative research, and paving an impact pathway on policy and practice.

This week’s webinar (Wednesday 24 Nov at 2 pm UK time) will focus on teratogens and pharmacovigilance. All are welcome to register for this free webinar, hosted by the Global Health Network.

Standards for improving the quality of care for small and sick newborns in health facilities 

27 August 2021

The World Health Organisation has published in 2020 new revised standards for improving quality care for small and sick newborns in health facilities. They include new standards of care for congenital anomalies. To hear more about it, listen to sSCAN’s second webinar, where Dr Ornella Lincetto of the World Health Organisation explains this important development here.

To read more about it: Standards for improving the quality of care for small and sick newborns in health facilities (

Monthly webinars of the subSaharan African Network for Congenital Anomalies

24 August 2021

These are held on the last Wednesday of each month, so reserve in your diary! You can see the recordings of past webinars on sSCAN • Global Birth Defects (

Upcoming webinar

17 August 2021

Birth Defect Surveillance Why and How, the African Experiences Part 2

Register here

Seminar Annoucement

21 July 2021