Today is the World Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Day


Today, Wednesday, 25th October, is the World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day (WSBHD) as designated in 2011 by the General Assembly of the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

IF and its member organisations – including SBHI -  are using this day to raise awareness and understanding about spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

It is also a way to advocate and promote the rights of persons with these impairments.

The focus of this year’s WSBHD is on mental health log onto to see the ‘Reclaiming my Health’ video

Why is there a need for a World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus day?

Thanks to the continuous advances in medicine, healthcare services have been drastically improved for people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

But despite this, many children and adults living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus still don’t have access to the right treatment and care services, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality in many countries.

The WSBHD is very significant as it reminds the public and policy makers that spina bifida and hydrocephalus are a reality and that it is imperative to increase awareness about them and improve the lives of people living with these conditions.

Here are some global spina bifida and hydrocephalus facts:

• There are at least around 1.5 million people globally living with neural tube defects.

• People with spina bifida and hydrocephalus need timely and affordable access to appropriate, specialised and multidisciplinary care throughout their lifespan.

• Spina bifida is one of the most common birth defects, with an average worldwide incidence of 1–2 cases per 1000 births, but certain populations have a significantly greater incidence.

• Spina bifida is a birth defect, which affects the development of a baby’s spine during the first 28 days of a pregnancy.

• You can be born with Hydrocephalus, but also acquire it later in life. For instance, due to an infection, tumour or traumatic brain injury, or older adults can develop Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.

• Hydrocephalus may be congenital or acquired. Hydrocephalus may result from inherited genetic abnormalities or developmental disorders such as those associated with NTDs including spina bifida.

• Children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus need special understanding and strategies to develop and to protect them from isolation and bullying.

• Each year, hundreds of thousands of children continue to be born with hydrocephalus, for instance, 100,000 to 375,000 new cases in sub- Saharan Africa.

Join in on the World Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Day conversation on Twitter:; Facebook: ; YouTube:, and IF website:

Hastags to use include: #wsphd #hydrocephalus #spinabifida

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