Journal of Applied Genetics

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 143–149 | Cite as

Birth defects surveillance in Ukraine: a process

  • Wladimir WerteleckiEmail author


Birth defects (BD) surveillance using international standards was introduced in Ukraine by a network of five BD centers located in northwestern, central and southern regions. BD centers provide resources to access current and comprehensive information and to nurture partnerships with physicians, administrators, parental support groups, educators, and humanitarian assistance organizations. One outcome was the vigorous and popular website International BD Information Systems (IBIS). The network is now incorporated as OMNI-Net Ukraine. The program has documented high prevalence rates of neural tube defects (NTD); fetal alcohol effects (FAE); and idiopathic developmental retardation among orphans that prompted prevention and amelioration initiatives. Further program objectives include: universal folic acid flour fortification, as recommended by the Ukrainian Academy of Medicine; continued research on methods to reduce FAE in collaboration with partners from California; opening other early infant stimulation centers funded by local authorities, modeled on those in Rivne and Lutsk; and linking BD prevention with bioethical considerations, which is a topic of interest in Ukraine in part enhanced by the effects of Chornobyl.

Key words

birth defects folic acid prevention public health surveillance telemedicine Ukraine 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [Anonymous] 2006. Improved national prevalence estimates for 18 selected major birth defects: United States, 1999–2001. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 54: 1301–1305.Google Scholar
  2. [MoD] March of Dimes, 2006. March of Dimes global report on birth defects: the hidden toll of dying and disabled children. March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, White Plains, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Yuskiv N, Polishchuk S, Shevchuk S, Sosynyuk Z, Vihovska T, Yevtushok L, et al. 2004. High rates of neural tube defects in Ukraine. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol 70: 400–402.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Wertelecki W, Katz M, 1995. Prevention of birth defects — a task for a world alliance. Medico Interamericano 5: 185.Google Scholar
  5. Wertelecki W, Katz M, 1996. Prevention of birth defects — a task for a World alliance. J. Ukrainian Med. Assn. 42: 137.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical GeneticsUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA

Personalised recommendations