European Commission highlights the need for Folic Acid supplementation

In response to the parliamentary question posed by MEPs Dr. Antonyia Parvanova, Edite Estrela and Ria Oomen-Ruijten, EU Health Commissioner John Dalli answers that the Commission shares their concern for the need for adequate levels of Folic Acid intake by woman of childbearing age before conception and during early pregnancy. Through the Commission's Communication on Rare Diseases, Member States are encouraged to take primary preventive actions, such as promoting Folic Acid supplementation, when possible. However, it is up to the Member States to decide whether or not they wish to introduce alternative or complementary measures such as voluntary food fortification with Folic Acid. IF and its members will continue to work on the EU and national level to keep primary prevention a top priority. Read the full answer.
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EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli 

Spain first country to submit its initial report to the CRPD Committee

All States parties that have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are obliged to submit regular reports to the CRPD Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially within two years of accepting the Convention and thereafter every four years. The Committee examines each report and can make suggestions and general recommendations on the report and shall forward these to the State Party concerned. The Optional Protocol to the Convention gives the Committee competence to examine individual complaints with regard to alleged violations of the Convention by States parties to the Protocol. Spain was the first country this year to submit its initial report to the Committee and was recently followed by Tunesia and Peru. The reports will be discussed in the next Committee meeting, October 4-8, 2010 in Geneva. The Committee has issued reporting guidelines to advise States Parties on the form and content of their reports.
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The 4th session of the Committee of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be held in the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland

Raising public awareness of Spina Bifida

On August 29, 2009, Laura Tellado, a young woman of 22 years, started the blog "Holdin' out for a hero" with the message "My voice will be heard". She made no false claim. Since that first message, she has been writing in her blog almost daily. And more than that. At the same time she has been writing to potential "heroes", asking them to support her cause. Born with Spina Bifida and living with it every day, she became determined to raise public awareness of Spina Bifida. She is convinced that a high-profile national spokesperson can make all the difference in making Spina Bifida more visible. She set out to try to and write at least one letter or email a day to a prominent public figure to see if they would help to raise awareness of Spina Bifida. She has also written a guest post for Hispanosphere, a blog on the Orlando Sentinel website and her quest was featured in an article by Christina Hernández. Will you be her hero?
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On her blog Laura also answers frequently asked questions she received about her life with Spina Bifida

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