The World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day has been established and designated by IF's General Assembly in Guatemala 2011 with the aim of raising awareness and understanding about Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. It serves also as means to advocate and promote the rights of persons with these conditions.



Thanks to the continuous advances in medicine, healthcare services have significantly improved for people with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Unfortunately, many children and adults living with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus still do not have access to the right treatment and care services and stigma and discrimination remain a reality in many countries. Besides, people are not aware of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and ways to prevent neural tube defects. 


The World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day was held for the first time on 25 October 2012 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Supported by the WHO, IF members from all over the world made this event a great success. On 25 October 2013 we celebrated the launch of our PUSH platform and met at the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss the importance of access to healthcare. This debate continued in 2014 and 2015 with campaigns and events all over the world. In 2016 the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus together with the Flemish Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (VSH), Ghent University, and the Ghent University Hospital (UZ Gent) organised the 27th International Conference on Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, Turning Points. One of the highlights of this event was the official launch by HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium of the Global Prevention Initiative. In 2017 the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus celebrated WSBHD by an action connected to the mental health of people with these conditions. 


The 7th edition of WSBHD celebrated in 2018 was a great success thanks to the strong engagement of the SBH community: IF collected more than 60 testimonies both from people with SBH and their families and share them on social media using the hashtag #mySBHlife. We really encourage you to check the written testimonies and the videos

In 2019, IF celebrated the WSBHD together with IF's 40th anniversary, the SBH community had a double celebration! We encourage you to watch the interviews of the 3 former IF's presidents and the material and activities developed for WSBHD 2020 by our members! 


The lives of all persons around the world have somehow been impacted by COVID-19 from an economic, social and/or health point fo view, among other aspects. The SBH community has not been an exception. For that reason, IF selected the topic ‘WSBHD20: united in times of COVID-19’, in order to focus on the experiences of the SBH community during the coronavirus pandemic. 

For this year's celebration, IF has prepared posters, messages and a challenge! Find out how to join us in the '2020 THEME' page.