Objectives of the Atlas

Manual cover for Birth Defects Surveillance: Atlas of selected congenital anomalies

Birth Defects Surveillance: Atlas of selected congenital anomalies

Congenital anomalies, also known as birth defects, are structural or functional abnormalities, including metabolic disorders, that are present from birth. Congenital anomalies are a diverse group of disorders of prenatal origin that can be caused by single gene defects, chromosomal disorders, multifactorial inheritance, environmental teratogens or micronutrient malnutrition.

This Atlas of selected congenital anomalies is a companion tool to Birth defects surveillance: a manual for programme managers, and is intended to help in the development, implementation and ongoing improvement of a surveillance programme for congenital anomalies, particularly in countries with limited human and financial resources.

This atlas uses the International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th revision (ICD-10) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) extension for coding of congenital anomalies.

It provides selected illustrations and photographs of congenital anomalies that are severe enough to have a high probability of being captured during the first few days following birth. Also, because of their severity and frequency, these depicted conditions have significant public health impact, and for some there is a potential for primary prevention.

When used in conjunction with the manual, the illustrations and photographs will help the reader to:
  • identify an initial list of congenital anomalies to consider for monitoring;
  • describe the tools needed to define and code identified cases;
  • define specific congenital anomalies under surveillance.

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