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IF Statement: A call for a global action to reduce the prevalence of Neural Tube Defects worldwide

1 September 2022

With a new IF statement, The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) is calling for urgent action demanding universal mandatory food fortification with vitamin B9 (folic acid) to reduce the risk of Spina Bifida, Anencephaly, or Encephalocele, also called Neural Tube Defects (NTDs).

IF has been at the forefront of the advocacy for universal mandatory food fortification for the primary prevention of NTDs including Spina Bifida. As a result the number of countries with policies of food fortification with vitamin B9 have increased. However, progress on the global level is insufficient.

In this new statement IF outlines:

  • Outlines what NTDs are
  • How NTDs are affected by the social determinants of health
  • What food fortification is and how it reduces the prevalence of NTDS
  • The economic benefits of food fortification
  • The stakeholders needed to be involved to make mandatory fortification of staple foods with folic acid a global reality
  • The primary prevention of NTDs in the context of disability rights
  • The need for an effective rights-based approach for the primary prevention of Spina Bifida and other NTDs
  • IF’s recommendations on achieving a global reduction in the prevalence of NTDs through food fortification

You can read the Statement here.

If you wish to become involved in the advocacy for universal mandatory food fortification with vitamin B9 or have any other questions then please contact the IF team at info@ifglobal.org