Fears for increase in birth defects in Ireland

A new report, published in the Irish Medical Journal, has warned that there could be a rise in the number of babies born with birth defects in Ireland as women cut back on more expensive fortified foods during the recession. The report voices serious concern at the failure by a majority of expectant mothers to ensure they are getting enough of the B vitamin folic acid, which helps reduce the chances of a baby being born with a neural tube defect that can cause spina bifida. The research shows that just 36 percent had taken folic acid before pregnancy. Doctors fear women are cutting back on foods which are fortified with the vitamin because they are more expensive as they "tighten their purchasing habits". Click here to read the article that appeared in the Irish Independent.
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The rate of neural tube defects is higher in Ireland than in many other European countries. 

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Celebrating a decade of saving lives in Uganda

CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda celebrated its 10th birthday. Throughout the decade, the hospital has positioned itself as an acclaimed center of excellence in treating children with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. “Since opening its doors in 2000, over 35000 patients have been seen and 7500 major neurosurgical operations performed. Ten years in Uganda has seen tremendous strides made in changing the perceptions and attitudes towards children with big heads.” says Derek Johnson, the executive director. IF Child Help has been supporting Cure from the beginning with material, equipment and training. As a birthday present IF president, Pierre Mertens, handed over a € 60.000 check to CURE to support the IPATH program for endoscopic treatment in other developing countries. Watch a video about 10 years at CURE Uganda.
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Ten years in Uganda has witnessed thousands of families healed, given hope and lives transformed

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Primary prevention in the Norwegian press

The Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen published two articles about the prevention of Spina Bifida in 2010. These articles emphasized on the need for better information campaigns about the use of folic acid. “We want prevention of the diagnosis, not abortion of individuals with the condition. We therefore request a more active campaign for the use of folic acid”, says Guro Fjellanger. She is the former Minister of Environment and has Spina Bifida herself. Eli Skattebu, the general manager of the Spina Bifida association in Norway stresses in the article that it’s possible to prevent many things by early intake of a dietary supplement.
Click here for the English translation of Spina Bifida can be prevented and Possible to avoid late abortion by taking folate.
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"The authorities have launched information campaigns, but we still see that too few take folate for long enough and in the correct dose", says Guro Fjellanger.

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