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Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Friday, March 3, 2017

Expert in Cuba Talk on Taking Measures to Prevent Birth Defects

Havana, Mar 3.- A Cuban specialist has called attention today on the measures to ensure a better conception, on occasion of the World Birth Defects Day, third leading cause of death for children under one year old.

Given that these risk factors are present before pregnancy, evaluating and determining them are crucial, Yudelkis Benitez, deputy director of the Medical Assistance area at the National Center for Medical Genetics, told Granma newspaper.

According to Benitez, birth defects in many cases are preventable, and the actions to achieve this depend to a great extent on the education and knowledge of couples about the opportunities to avoid them.

The pre-conception evaluation optimizes and ensures that pregnancy ends with the birth of a healthier child and a mother free of complications, the first-degree specialist in Clinical Genetics said.

According to reports, about 50 percent of pregnancies in the population in general are not planned, hence the importance of informing and disseminating some prevention strategies, she reflected.

Controlling pre-pregnancy nutrition is one of the measures that have the greatest impact when they are performed before gestation, to ensure fetal health, she said.

Incorporating the recommended amount of folic acid is important for couples of childbearing age, as it reduces the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly, as well as cleft lip, Benitez said.

The expert added that every woman and her partner should change certain lifestyle habits, at least three months before leaving the contraceptive method, or having unprotected sex. (PL)