March of Dimes Foundation: Leading the way to birth defects prevention

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Birth defects are a major cause of mortality among children under five. In accordance with its mission, the March of Dimes Foundation is dedicated to reducing the toll of birth defects on children, families, and society. Founded in 1938 to fight polio, March of Dimes currently focuses on prevention of birth defects and preterm birth and has had a major influence on surveillance, research, advocacy, awareness, and education related to birth defects prevention and care. In the USA, it has played an active role in promoting and advocating for newborn screening for early diagnosis and treatment of congenital disorders, folic acid fortification of grains for prevention of neural tube defects, and more recently on raising awareness about birth defects related to Zika virus infection. March of Dimes has played a major role in promoting prevention of birth defects globally by publishing data-based reports and papers related to the toll of birth defects and by supporting surveillance and preconception health education programs. March of Dimes birth defects health education materials directed for raising awareness among families are used worldwide. Additionally, March of Dimes had equipped health care workers and policy makers with essential information about birth defects through published materials and sponsoring of conferences that allow for networking and knowledge exchange. March of Dimes remains committed to prevention of birth defects through supporting research related to causes of birth defects, empowering women and girls with health knowledge, and advocating for policies and programs at national and global levels for giving every child an opportunity to attain his or her optimal level of health.




Walani, S. R., & Biermann, J. (2017). March of Dimes Foundation: Leading the way to birth defects prevention. Public Health Reviews. EHESP Presses.

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