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Surveillance Toolkit

Surveillance Manual

A core component of the toolkit is the birth defects surveillance manual. Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research, this manual is primarily for use by low- and middle-resource countries developing or strengthening a birth defects surveillance program. 

Click here to access the birth defects surveillance manual »

CDC’s Birth Defects COUNT has a surveillance toolkit to help countries build and strengthen surveillance capacity and expand the availability of accurate birth defects data worldwide. This data can help drive birth defects prevention activities.

The manual will serve as the foundation for ongoing birth defects surveillance workshops, as well as in support of ongoing Birth Defects COUNT efforts in South-East Asia and Africa.

The Need for a Toolkit

In October 2011, staff from CDC and its partner organizations formed a birth defects surveillance workgroup in response to requests from countries for technical assistance for birth defects surveillance. The workgroup identified the need for a toolkit to strengthen a country’s ability to conduct birth defects surveillance and provide a strategy for countries to obtain reliable data to launch birth defects prevention efforts.

Next Steps

Currently, the workgroup is developing additional parts of the toolkit to help countries establish birth defects surveillance programs:

  • A birth defects photo atlas
  • A facilitator’s guide based on the manual (to be used for train-the-trainer sessions)
  • A participant’s workbook to accompany the facilitator’s guide
  • Narrated presentations and videos
  • Webinars and tutorials
  • Web access to a central database birth defects registry

Get Involved

If you are a public health or healthcare professional currently involved or interested in birth defects prevention, here are some ways you might use the birth defects surveillance toolkit:

  • Browse the surveillance manual online for an overview on various topics related to establishing and implementing a birth defects surveillance program
  • Download and/or print a copy of the surveillance manual for more in depth background and instruction
  • Download the photo atlas to learn more about major external birth defects
  • Watch narrated presentations and videos to learn more about specific topic areas
  • Attend online webinars and tutorials to further your understanding of, and gain expertise in, birth defects surveillance
  • Train other public health or healthcare professionals to develop birth defects surveillance programs using the manual, facilitator’s guide and participant’s workbook