March of Dimes
The March of Dimes Global Report on Birth Defects was a watershed moment in medical research. For the first time, an initiative provided an estimate of severe birth defects of genetic or partially genetic origin across 193 countries, bringing to light a hidden toll of dying and disabled children worldwide.
Each year, an estimated 8 million children — 6 percent of total births worldwide — are born with a serious birth defect of genetic or partially genetic origin. Many more suffer serious birth defects due to maternal exposure to environmental agents. At least 3.3 million children under the age of 5 die annually due to serious birth defects. Those who survive often experience lifelong mental and physical disabilities.
Stepping into the role of project manager and lead designer, I found myself facing a challenging but rewarding task. Over six months, I managed a voluminous array of over 10,000 assets, orchestrating the creation of a comprehensive 64-page Report, a concise 16-page Executive Summary, a detailed 36″ x 24″ Wall Chart, and an exhaustive 4-foot long, fan-fold Appendix containing 9,792 data cells.
This project represented a significant milestone in my professional journey, marking the first time I contributed to a global initiative geared towards bringing positive change and improving lives. The project’s core purpose made me realize the transformative potential of my creative skills when applied to causes greater than any individual.
Drawing inspiration from the report’s title, “The Hidden Toll of Dying and Disabled Children,” I designed the cover with multifaceted shapes, symbolizing the global spectrum of countries and the depth of the research conducted. The text “Birth Defects” was intentionally left in white to underscore the focus on an issue that had been largely obscured from public view.
This report doesn’t just quantify the problem, it offers tangible solutions. Experience from high-income countries indicates that mortality and disability from birth defects could be reduced by up to 70% if the report’s recommendations are implemented broadly. This document serves as a beacon of hope and a call to action for developing countries to prevent birth defects and improve the care of those affected.