83

Countries have laws to fortify foods with folic acid

41%

Decrease in incidence of neural tube defects

1.8M

Pregnant women received iron and folic acid supplements

The need

Not having enough folate is among the most common micronutrient deficiencies, with devastating yet preventable impacts.

Pregnant women are at higher risk for folate insufficiency throughout their childbearing years, which means their babies may be born with neural tube defects such as spina bifida or anencephaly. Folic acid deficiency can lead to mental confusion and depression, diarrhoea, or megaloblastic anaemia.

Our solution

Enriching staple foods with folic acid gets this micronutrient to those who need it most.

Nutrition International helps flour and cooking oil producers fortify their products with folic acid and other micronutrients, and assists governments to draft legislation to make it mandatory to fortify wheat flour with folic acid and iron.

Our interventions get folic acid to adolescent girls and women to prevent anaemia and neural tube defects.

We work with governments, NGOs, and the private sector to ensure that folic acid supplements are part of intervention packages delivered through routine health services to women.

We ensure that adolescent girls and pregnant women have access to folic acid by:

  • Improving access to maternal and neonatal care through community-based maternal and newborn health and nutrition projects
  • Distributing iron-folic acid supplements to pregnant women through community health volunteers
  • Socially marketing iron-folic acid supplements to adolescent girls through community health workers
  • Leading folic acid advocacy efforts
  • Working with key stakeholders to reduce neural tube defects