SC DHEC promoting healthy habits as part of National Birth Defect Awareness month

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– This month, DHEC is promoting healthy habits as part of  National Birth Defects Awareness Month.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is asking residents to use the next few weeks to support this year’s theme: “Healthy Communities, Healthy Babies.” Birth defects are physical abnormalities that are already present when a baby is born. They can affect any part of the body, and symptoms can range from mild to severe.

“Through partnerships and collaborations, DHEC works to realize the SC Birth Defects Program’s vision of a South Carolina where healthy births are promoted, every child with a birth defect gets the necessary attention, and families impacted by birth defects are supported,” said Vinita Leedom, SC Birth Defects Program Director. “We continue to look for innovative ways to make a difference.”

According to state health officials, DHEC is supporting the 2023 national theme through surveillance of birth defects, referrals of infants with birth defects to treatment and care, promotion of preconception care and early access to prenatal care, and the agency’s Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) program, which provides services to qualifying residents ages 21 and under. These services include information and referral, care coordination, and financial assistance with payment for medical services, supplies and equipment.

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