Statistics released by state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) has revealed that babies born with birth defects in the Maldives are increasing.
According to the statistics released by IGMH to mark World Birth Defects Day, out of 4,820 babies born in the Maldives in the last two years, 514 babies were born with birth defects.
While 21 mortalities were recorded, 42 of the babies had severe defects.
According to IGMH, the most common birth defect found in the Maldives are related to the heart. In the last two years, 102 such cases had been detected. A national action plan is underway to decrease the number of babies born with heart defects in the country.
The head of Child Health at IGMH, Dr. Niyasha Ibrahim, stated that six percent of babies born with birth defects across the world do not survive. She added that South Asia has the second most frequent cases of birth defects in the world.
Arvind Mathur, World Health Organization (WHO)’s Representative to the Maldives, stated that the island nation has to increase efforts to curb the ratio of babies born with birth defects. He noted that taking special care of health during pregnancy is one of the steps that could help to decrease birth defects.