ICBD2017 Lieven LIMC11 November 2017 // The 8th International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the Developing World took place in Bogotá, Colombia, from November 8 - 11. The theme of the conference was "Birth Defects Prevention and Care: Think Globally, Act Locally". Topics discussed included ethics and economics, surveillance, Spina Bifida and Anencephaly prevention, the folate status in women of childbearing age, preconception health, the care of children with disabilities, and much more. IF was honoured to be invited to contribute speakers.

31 October 2017 // Last week, on the 24th of October, it was exactly 15 years since the Food Fortification Initiative (FFI) was launched, then known as the Flour Fortification Initiative. To celebrate the anniversary, FFI has honoured 15 fortification champions from different sectors and different parts of the world. These champions have done an excellent job representing the partnership throughout the years, which has influenced the increase of countries with wheat flour fortification mandates. In 2002, 46 countries had such mandates and in 2017 we watched the number rise to 87 countries with legislation to fortify wheat flour, maize flour, and/or rice. IF is proud to be on the Executive Management Team of FFI and very pleased with this remarkable result!

Giulia Bizzotto graduated30 October 2017 // Congratulations to Giula Bizzotto! During her time as an intern at IF, Giula researched the relationship between assistive technology and the human body, with a special focus on people with Spina Bifida and their rights. She received full marks with honours for her dissertation, which was based on her research at IF. A big thank you to everyone who answered her questionnaire! A worrying conclusion is that the costs of assistive technology are a burden for people with Spina Bifida and families with children with Spina Bifida. Giulia compared data from IF's member ASBI in Italy to the results of other IF members from various European countries.

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