South-East Asia Regional Network
Strengthening Newborn Health & Prevention of Birth Defects
Welcome to the South-East Asia Regional Network!
South-East Asia Region New-born and Birth Defects (SEAR-NBBD) Surveillance Initiative
In 2014, WHO-SEARO created an online system of newborn-birth defects (SEAR-NBBD) database. The system was designed to support data management for newborn health, birth defects and stillbirths. The aim is to establish robust assessment of neonatal health and monitor the occurrence of birth defects in the region; to set relevant and appropriate baseline measures.
This surveillance network in collaboration with CDC-USA also provides the necessary training and monitoring required to run the system effectively. The objectives of NBBD surveillance are:
- To define the magnitude and distribution of birth defects by time, person and place
- To identify high-risk populations or identify clusters (aggregation of cases)
- To refer affected infants to appropriate services in a timely manner
- To monitor trends in the prevalence of different types of birth defects in a defined population
We welcome the active community of national, regional and international organizations working towards strengthening newborn health and the prevention of birth defects.
Every year, of the 3.0 million neonatal deaths globally, 1 million occur in the South-East Asia Region accompanied by an equal number of stillbirths. With a high coverage of evidence based interventions, the majority of these deaths can be averted.
Globally, it is estimated around 10 million babies, are born with congenital malformations, of which 2.3 million babies, are born in the South-East Asia Region. Elective termination of pregnancy for foetal anomalies (ETOPFA), stillbirths, spontaneous abortions, survival, comorbidity and long-time disability add to the high burden of birth defects.
In order to reduce the stagnant rate of neonatal mortality in the South-East Asia Region, one of the initiatives endeavours to bring the professional leadership together to form a Regional Network on Strengthening Newborn Health and the Prevention of Birth Defects, which will be instrumental in
- Establishing an integrated neonatal-perinatal database (SEARnet)
- Managing knowledge pertaining to newborn health and the prevention of birth defects
- Building educational and training capacity and
- Advocating for the strengthening of newborn health and for the prevention of birth defects