EUROCAT - European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies
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Founded by DG-XII 'Science and Technology' of E-XE2442 - European Commission (EC), following 1975-1976 feasibility studies. 1991, status changed from research project to surveillance service under the coordination of DG-V 'Employment, Industrial Relations and Social Affairs, Health and Safety'. Evolved as a network of population-based registries for surveillance of congenital anomalies in Europe, which surveys about 25% of the European births. Central Registry, including central database, initially located at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), then at the Scientific Institute for Public Health in Brussels (Belgium), subsequently at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK), and finally at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland (UK). 2015, Central Registry and European-level coordination activities of EUROCAT network transferred to the EC's Joint Research Centre (JRC), as an objective of the Administrative Arrangements (AA) signed by JRC and DG SANTE to implement EC's strategy in the field of rare diseases.
Provide essential epidemiologic information on congenital anomalies in Europe; facilitate early warning of teratogenic exposures; evaluate effectiveness of primary prevention; assess impact of developments in prenatal screening; act as an information and resource centre regarding clusters, exposures or risk factors of concern; provide a ready collaborative network and infrastructure for research related to causes and prevention of congenital anomalies and treatment and care of affected children; act as a catalyst for the setting up of registries throughout Europe collecting comparable, standardized data.
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