Published: 2021-10-27

Evaluation of a hospital-based surveillance system for birth defects in Chennai, India

Anoop Velayudhan, Suresh Seshadri, Sujatha Jagadeesan, Jayanti Saravanan, Rajesh Yadav, Lorraine F. Yeung


The Birth Defects Registry of India-Chennai (BDRI-C) was created in 2001 to monitor birth defects and provide timely referrals. Using established guidelines to evaluate surveillance systems, we examined the following attributes of BDRI-C to help strengthen the registry: simplicity, flexibility, data quality, representativeness, acceptability, timeliness, and stability. We reviewed BDRI-C documents, including reporting forms; interviewed key informants; and calculated data completeness, coverage, and reporting time. BDRI-C captured 14% of the births in Chennai April 2013 - March 2014. About 7% of institutions in Chennai registered in BDRI-C, and of those registered, 37% provided data in 2013. Median reporting time was 44 days after birth in 2013. BDRI-C is a useful, simple, flexible, and timely passive birth defects surveillance system; however, improvements can be made to ensure BDRI-C is representative of Chennai, data processing and quality checks are on-going, and the system is acceptable for member institutions and stable. 


Birth defects, Registries, India, Surveillance, Evaluation

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