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Project Spotlight: Birth Defects Surveillance in Kenya

Project Spotlight: Birth Defects Surveillance in Kenya

Project Purpose:

To ensure sustainability and expand facility-based birth defects surveillance to support programs and policies for preventing birth defects, and improving pregnancy outcomes and quality of life among women and children in Tanzania, Kenya with the support of the Tanzania Ministry of Health. We collaborate with WHO India, the Government of Haryana, and local stakeholders to design and conduct an end-line household and biomarker survey. 

Vysnova Work: 

Vysnova Partners (Vysnova) has been supporting the CDC since 2014. Vysnova is an implementing partner under the CDC’s Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and supports CDC’s projects and programs in the US and OCONUS in different continents such as Africa and America under GHSA and other cooperative agreements and contracts. 

For this effort, we have:

  • Scaled up birth defects surveillance in Tanzania, Kenya
  • Increased awareness and knowledge of selected structural birth defects among communities, policymakers, and other stakeholders
  • Increased number of personnel trained on birth defects surveillance, prevention, and intervention
  • In India, we aim to implement a biomarker survey aims to identify populations of women with suboptimal red blood cell folate status in order to better understand the effectiveness of the current fortification strategy and establish to what extent additional interventions might be necessary for women of reproductive age to reach optimal blood folate concentrations.

The Vysnova Impact

Our main impact has been to:

  • Ensure that the percentage of birth defects vs deliveries has decreased to less than 40% in most of the surveillance locations.
  • Educate people in the surveyed rural areas so that they are aware of the benefits of good nutrition before and during pregnancy.
  • Vysnova successfully implemented a biomarker survey in Tanzania, where around 500 samples were gathered and studied.