December 3rd, 2012, is the International and European Day of Persons with Disabilities. Theme this year is "Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all". To commemorate this special day, IF is organising a photo exhibition at the EC building in Brussels and displaying the IF Catalogue "Unfold their Potential - (Y)our return on investment". The photographs convey the lives of people living with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Visitors can also obtain the IF Position Paper on Ageing with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, which focusses on the urgent need to address the issues of adults living with these conditions.
During the 6th European Conference on Rare Diseases and Orphan Drugs, held in May 2012, one of the themes discussed was "Information & Public Health". Within this theme participants focussed on "Primary and Secondary Prevention". IF President Pierre Mertens presented Spina Bifida as an example of a rare condition that can greatly benefit from the dissemination of information and increased awareness of primary prevention. For this reason, IF promotes folic acid as an effective way of preventing neural tube defects before birth. The abstract of Pierre's presentation is now available on the website of the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases.
On November 25th, 2012, IF member APEBI from Argentina held its 8th Marathon in Buenos Aires City. Under the motto "Along the Same Path", the marathon united persons with disabilities, amateur runners, professional runners, and anyone willing to get involved in APEBI's commitment towards health and autonomy. This Argentinian sport and recreational activity is of public interest as it is also a major initiative to promote preventive measures and measures to improve the quality of life of people with some type of disability. The marathon is the corollary of the National Folic Acid Intake Awareness Week which ran from November 12-18 in Argentina.