03 September 2014 // In 2009 IF together with partners launched Smarter Futures project to work toward preventing problems caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies, that can lead to diseases such as spina bifida, impaired learning capacity, and decreased productivity. Flour fortification is one strategy for addressing such deficiencies because it delivers essential nutrients through staple foods. It does not require consumers to change their eating or buying habits. The aim of Smarter Futures is to improve health in Africa through the enrichment of wheat and maize flour with essential vitamins and minerals. The Dutch government contributed to the project and in its evaluation concluded that the Smarter Futures partnership for Africa and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Premix Facility were among seven projects rated as having “very good overall performance".
12 August 2014 // World Health Organization (WHO), National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research (ICBDSR) have published tools intended to serve for the development, implementation and ongoing improvement of a congenital anomalies surveillance programme, particularly for countries with limited resources.
On 11-12 August 2014 IF is organising a workshop in Kenya on developing partnerships for managing the transition of people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus from paediatric to adult services. The overall aim is to facilitate the development of a model of service that addresses the changing healthcare needs of persons with childhood-onset disabilities as the individual grows from a child to youth, from youth to young adult, and from young adult to adult. On this occasion we developed a guide on transition from childhood to adolescence for people with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus in Africa.