22 May 2014 // In 2013 IF President Margo Whiteford and former IF President Pierre Mertens established strong connections with the China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF) in an effort to raise awareness about Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (SB/H), remove stigma, and improve the access to healthcare for people with SB/H in China. As a result, a special committee for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus has been established within the CDPF this year. IF's President and Secretary General were both present at the launch ceremony to celebrate the start of the official Chinese SB/H association. As part of the events a Chinese website dedicated entirely to SB/H was created: www.jzlz.org.
20 May 2014 // EDF members from all over Europe came together in Zagreb for EDF's Annual General Assembly on 17/18 May 2014. The meeting was followed by a European conference under the theme: Monitoring the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The conference opened a dialogue between national and European organisations of persons with disabilities concerning their view on the upcoming EU report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. EDF is preparing an alternative report on the implementation of the UNCRPD in the EU and IF will take the lead on the articles 25 (Health) and 26 (Habilitation and Rehabilitation).
15 May 2014 // One of our long-standing partners, the Flour Fortification Initiative (FFI), is changing its name to the Food Fortification Initiative as it expands its work to include rice. Since rice is most commonly eaten as whole kernels, it is not reflected in the previous name. IF is among the FFI partners which together help national leaders plan, implement, and monitor fortification programs. This strategy will not change; rice will simply be added to FFI's traditional focus on industrially milled flour.
"People around the world get most of their calories and carbohydrates from wheat, rice, and maize. To the extent that we can fortify the milled products of these grains, the greater health impact we will have," said Reynaldo Martorell, Woodruff Professor of International Nutrition and Senior Advisor at the Global Health Institute at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, USA. Martorell is also a member of the FFI Executive Management Team.