8th to 14th January is Folic Acid Awareness Week
Pune – January 10, 2018 - Spina Bifida Foundation, a foundation aimed at prevention of Birth defects and Meyer Vitabiotics, a leading pharmaceutical company, jointly announces a one of its kind initiative “GO FOLIC” campaign in India. This campaign is aimed to create awareness on prevention of Spina Bifida, congenital birth defect. Started on 27th August 2015 across India GO FOLIC campaign has liaison with State Governments, the Union Health Ministry and WHO India to reach to the masses by undertaking various activities like Awareness Campaign, Events, Health Camps and Doctor Participation Activities. This will be an on-going campaign. GO FOLIC aims to spread the vital message about taking Folic Acid as well as Vitamin B12 before pregnancy to prevent birth defects. This initiative is launched as part of Corporate Social Responsibility, a joint initiative by Meyer Vitabiotics in collaboration with Spina Bifida Foundation to make a positive difference in society. Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon is the brand Ambassador for GO FOLIC campaign.
Speaking about the cause Mr.Rohit Shelatkar, Meyer Vitabiotics Vice President said “As a nutraceuticalscompany we believe it’s our responsibility to make healthcare simpler. Keepingthe leading edge of international research and being sensitive to specificconsumer needs, we at Meyer Vitabiotics want to make a significant differencein the lives of people. The awareness is still non-existent in rural and urbanIndia. This campaign will educate people on the importance of Folic acid andits requirements during pregnancy for a growth of a healthy baby”. Congenitalbirth defects mainly (NTDs) Neural tube defects form a major share in India,are assuming greater importance as a leading cause of Neonatal and InfantMortality in India. With this joint initiative, Spina Bifida foundation chief Dr. Santosh Karmarkar andMeyer Vitabiotics Vice President/Director Mr. Rohit Shelatkar takes a step tocreate awareness and help prevention of Spina Bifida and its complications.
Folate is a vital Vitamin required majorly duringpregnancy, for the development of maternal and fetal metabolic needs.Folic acid and Vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnant women can lead to graveconsequences like FGR (Fetal Growth Retardation). Regular dose of Folic acidand Vit, B12 is required for every to be and would be mother. Mr. Karmarkar, Founder of Spina BifidaFoundation said “Every year about 25 to 40 thousand children areborn with mild to severe form of birth defects. Every year there is increase inthe infant mortality rate. The children who are born with such casualty sufferfrom mild to severe form of Spina bifida. Prevention of NTDs is an immediatePublic Health priority for India. GO FOLIC campaign will address this issue.70% of NTDs are due to a lack of Folates and therefore ensuring an adequatedaily intake of Folic Acid and B12 vitamins in the diets of mothers-to-be,prior to conception and during pregnancy can prevent most cases of NTDs”
Prevention of NTDs and other birth defects is on thetop of the stated WHO goals for South East Asia. NTDs, which are congenitalmalformations of the Spinal Cord & Spine, cause varying degrees ofchildhood paralysis (more severe than Polio) and also affect the development ofthe lower limbs, brain, urinary bladder and Bowel. India has one of the highestincidences of NTDs in the world – up to 4-5 /1000 live births! This wouldamount to as many as 25000 - 40000 children born with this defect in India eachyear.