9th International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the Developing World


23 February 2020 - 26 February 2020


Location: Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Region: Asia


The theme of the 2020 conference is Health for All: Accelerate Efforts for Birth Defects Prevention and Care.

The conference recognizes the need to build capacity in lower-income countries for the prevention of birth defects and preterm birth and care of those affected. The goal of these biennial conferences is to provide specific practical tools and approaches that developing country participants can use to implement and strengthen surveillance and health care delivery and influence policy and funding in support.

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Who is Expected

Health care providers, policymakers, researchers, donors, parent-patient organizations, other NGOs and youth volunteers from across the world interested in strengthening reproductive, maternal, newborn and child and adolescent health, with a focus on the prevention of birth defects, preterm birth and associated disabilities.


Topics will include:

  1. Life course approaches for prevention of birth defects, stillbirth and preterm birth by addressing lifestyle, infections, nutrition and contraception
  2. Counting birth defects: Surveillance, newborn screening, pathological evaluations and ensuring data quality
  3. Programs and services for improving the health of women and girls before, during and after pregnancy
  4. Diagnostic strategies, including genetic testing for birth defects, across the life cycle
  5. Treatment options and care arrangements for individuals with birth defects and disabilities
  6. Ensuring continuation of services from pediatric to adult care for individuals with birth defects
  7. Reorienting healthcare system to integrate prevention and care of birth defects
  8. Use of information and communication technology, media and social networking for improving birth outcomes
  9.  The role of civil society, parent/patient organizations for birth defects prevention, advocacy and services
  10. Education of healthcare workers for improving the quality of maternal and newborn health services
  11. Networking and partnerships for birth defects related research, prevention and care
  12. National policies and programs for the birth defects prevention and care
  13. Strategies to reduce mortality and improve physical and developmental outcomes of children with birth defects
  14. Eliminating stigma and discrimination against persons with birth defects and disabilities
  15. Policy and practice implications of recent scientific and epidemiologic research related to birth defects and preterm birth
  16. Food fortification policies and programs for prevention of birth defects
  17. Addressing maternal and newborn health in humanitarian settings for improving birth outcomes
  18. Reducing exposure to harmful and teratogenic substances, including alcohol, drugs and medications for improving birth outcomes

Contact Information

Becky Tsang