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Global Prevention of Neural Tube Defects

Presented on .

Neural tube defects are serious birth defects of the brain and spine. They are a major cause of death and lifelong disability worldwide. Up to 85 percent of neural tube defects can be prevented if women consume enough folic acid before and during early pregnancy. But worldwide only 15 percent of neural tube defects are prevented.

In this session of Public Health Grand Rounds experts discuss how fortifying grains with folic acid could prevent these defects. Hear about the challenges and opportunities for these efforts.

Beyond the Data
Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Scott Montgomery discuss the benefits and challenges of fortifying grains with folic acid around the world.
Presented By
Krista S. Crider, PhD
Geneticist, Prevention Research and Translation Branch,
Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC
"Prevention of Neural Tube Defects"
Scott J. Montgomery, BS
Director
Food Fortification Initiative
"Fortifying Grains with Folic Acid to Prevent Neural Tube Defects: Successes and Opportunities"
Erin Smith, MPH
Country Director
Helen Keller International Tanzania
"Maize Fortification with Small- and Medium-scale Processors in Tanzania"
Neena Raina, PhD
Coordinator, Health through the Life Course,
South-East Asia Regional Office

World Health Organization
"Birth Defects Surveillance and Prevention in South-East Asia: Lessons Learnt and Way Forward"
Facilitated By
John Iskander, MD, MPH
Scientific Director
Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH
Deputy Scientific Director
Susan Laird, MSN, RN
Communications Director
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Continuing Education
This session is available for Continuing Education (CE). Register here using the course information below.

CDC Course Code: PHGR10
CPE UAN: 0387-0000-17-024-H04-P

For more information, see Grand Rounds Continuing Education.

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Every year, approximately 300,000 children around the world are born with neural tube defects (NTD). Learn about efforts to decrease the prevalence of NTDs in the US and hear about much needed global strategies to reduce the burden of NTDs worldwide through mandatory fortification of staple foods with folic acid.

Page last reviewed: February 28, 2018
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