70

countries have laws to fortify foods with folic acid

15%

decrease in incidences of neural tube defects

1.8M

pregnant women received iron and folic acid supplements

The Need

Maternal folate insufficiency

Maternal folate insufficiency in the first 28 days of pregnancy is a major cause of neural tube defects.

The most common forms of these defects include spina bifida and anencephaly, which result in elective pregnancy terminations, stillbirths, early neonatal deaths or long-term disabilities.

Improving maternal folate status through folic acid fortification and supplementation can dramatically reduce the number of affected births and significantly contribute to reducing neonatal and child mortality.

Our Solution

A Roadmap for Action

Folate/Folic Acid

Folate/Folic Acid

In 2017, the Micronutrient Forum, then-hosted by Nutrition International, published a Roadmap for Action to advance and accelerate neural tube defect prevention.

Initially funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we assembled the Folate Task Team to advance the recommendations featured in this roadmap. The Folate Task Team coordinates the activities of the implementation agenda to reduce folate-responsive neural tube defects. These activities include:

  • Facilitating access to the scientific and technical conclusions of the Roadmap for Action and folate-related knowledge products
  • Conducting a landscape analysis to prioritize countries where actions to reduce folate-sensitive neural tube defects are more needed and more likely to show impact
  • Building laboratory capacity in a selected number of low- and middle-income countries to assess folate status
  • Supporting research to further inform the activities towards the global action plan

Learn more about the Folate Task Team

The Impact

Implementing a global strategy

Through the Folate Task Team, an NTEAM global nutrition task team, we're ensuring that countries have laws to fortify foods with folic acid,reaching pregnant women with iron and folic acid supplements, and decreasing incidences of neural tube defects.

70

countries have laws to fortify foods with folic acid

15%

decrease in incidences of neural tube defects

1.8M

pregnant women received iron and folic acid supplements