September 15, 2017

ZikaPLAN in its multi-faceted WP8, in one part envisions creating an inventory of existing congenital anomaly surveillance tools, available globally. It will support the building of a Latin American network for congenital anomaly surveillance that will include the RELAMC registries to contribute their data towards a collaborative study.

ZikaPLAN Work Package 8

Prof Helen Dolk, Professor of Epidemiology and Health Services Research, Institute of Nursing and Health Research, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland

Prof. Joan Morris, Queen Mary University London, United Kingdom

Ieda Orioli, University of Rio de Janeiro and member of Associação Técnico Científica Estudo Colaborativo Latino Americano de Malformações Congênitas, Brazil

The Zika epidemic in Latin America has brought the world’s attention to the need for effective congenital anomaly (birth defect) surveillance systems, and the important potential impact of maternal infections in pregnancy, amplified by infectious disease epidemics.

In ZikaPLAN, the Birth Defect Surveillance Group as part of Work Package 8 (Disease Burden and Risk Assessment) is addressing Zika, and looking beyond Zika to infectious disease preparedness, and to the prevention of congenital anomalies.

In the first strand of activity, with the help of an International Committee [1] the group is compiling an inventory of existing congenital anomaly surveillance tools available globally  - manuals, software and training. In addition, with the Committee, a new App is being developed and tested for the diagnosis and reporting of congenital anomalies in low resource settings where expertise is not present locally, and the surveillance systems can cover these areas effectively.

In the second strand of activity, collaborators across Latin America[2] are coming together to build a Latin American network for congenital anomaly surveillance (Red Latino Americana de Malformaciones Congénitas (RELAMC), building on the long experience of ECLAMC (a network of hospitals conducting congenital anomaly surveillance in Latin America and EUROCAT (the European population-based network).

In the third strand of activity, the group is reviewing the literature on the surveillance of microcephaly and other potentially Zika-related congenital anomalies in Latin America, and inviting RELAMC registries to contribute their data to a collaborative study.

[1] International Committee for Congenital Anomaly Surveillance Tools: H. Dolk, I. Orioli, I. Barisic, L. Barlow, L. Botto, E. Garne, P. Guatibonza, L. Holmes, N. Raina, D. Valencia, R. Moore.

[2] Participants at the November 2016 Buenos Aires meeting were Dr. Beatriz Suárez Bésil (Cuba); Drs. Rosa Liascovich, Maria Paz Bidondo, Boris Groisman and Pablo Barbero (Argentina); Dras. Cecilia Mellado, Rosa Andrea Pardo (Chile), Dr. Aurora Canessa Tapia (Chile); Dr. Ignacio Zarante; Dr. Paula Margarita Hurtado and Dr. Harry Pachajoa (Colombia); Dr. Dácio Lyra Neto Rabello (Brazil).