Monographic Section

Primary prevention as an essential factor ensuring sustainability of health systems: the example of congenital anomalies


Abstract


Protection of early development contributes to health of next generations. Congenital anomalies (and other adverse reproductive outcomes) are an important public health issue and early indicator of public health risks, as early development is influenced by many risk factors (e.g., nutrition, lifestyles, pollution, infections, medications, etc). Effective primary prevention requires an integrated “One Health” approach, linking knowledge and action. This requires surveillance of health events and potential health-damaging factors, science-based risk analysis, citizens’ empowerment and education of health professionals. From the policy standpoint, joint budgeting mechanisms are needed to sustain with equity intersectoral actions (involving policy domains of health, social affairs, education, agriculture and environment). States should devote resources to strengthen registries and systematic data collection for surveillance of congenital anomalies, to better inform national prevention strategies. Investing in primary prevention based on scientific  evidence is essential to support sustainable and resilient health systems and sustainable development of the society.


Keywords


primary prevention, resilience, health promotion, birth defects

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