Screen Shot 2017 04 26 at 10.29.421 May 2017 // Following our folic acid awareness line of work, IF’s Global Prevention Initiative has launched a new global educational leaflet entitled ‘Folic Acid – What every woman needs to know before becoming pregnant’, which contains vital information for every woman planning a pregnancy.

Usually, the words ‘folic acid’ are known by women already pregnant or those who are trying to conceive. For that reason, this updated leaflet is aimed to inform all women of childbearing age, to provide them with an early understanding of the importance of folic acid.

The scientific knowledge has been available since 1991, that folic acid is key to reducing the risk of most neural tube defects, like Spina Bifida and Anencephaly, but there is still a lack of understanding among the general population of what folic acid is exactly. In this regard, IF keeps working on prevention, highlighting folic acid as a very important B vitamin for women of childbearing age, but also as an essential nutrient for pregnant women for a healthy cell growth and development, providing the basic building blocks for DNA. However, many women still do not know the supplementation recommendations before and during pregnancy or how to get it and when to take it. For this reason, 80 countries are now opting for another prevention measure: to fortify staple food grains with folic acid to raise base folate intake in their population.

The new leaflet was specifically written to ensure that it was easy to translate, so that its use could be maximised all over the world. Our aim is to see the leaflet translated into as many languages as possible so that this very important information is available to as many women as possible around the world. If anyone is able to provide translations of the leaflet, we would be happy to work with you to adapt the leaflet into any language and to make the content (such as natural sources of folate, and availability and doses of supplements) and visual images as culturally relevant as possible. We don’t have the in-house capacity or special funding for translations, so we are heavily reliant on volunteers to increase accessibility (particularly outside of Eastern Europe). If you are able to help with a translation, or you would like a print ready copy of the current leaflet to print for your own organisation’s use, you can reach out to us through the contact details below.

IF will continue to work on increasing universal knowledge about folic acid benefits through its Global Prevention Initiative. For further information, please check out our press release, or contact Martine Austin, IF Programme Manager Global Prevention, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Ewa Kampelmann, IF Deputy Secretary General, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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