GO FOLIC in Scotland

The aim of the Go Folic! campaign in Scotland is to find new ways to increase folate intake to prevent Neural Tube Defects (NTD) of which spina bifida is the most common.

This is particularly relevant for all sexually active women in Scotland as historically Scotland has had a higher prevalence of Neural Tube Ddefects (NTDs) than the rest of the UK . In some parts of Scotland the prevalence rates for live births with NTDs can be almost twice as high. (SPMMR:2007)

Spina bifida is a Neural Tube Defect which occurs in pregnancy. It is caused by the failure of the neural tube to close properly and the fault occurs in the first 28 days of pregnancy. This may result in multiple disabilities. Many people born with spina bifida will be life long wheelchair users. A majority also have hydrocephalus which can cause learning difficulties. The knowledge that a simple B vitamin (folic acid) can help to prevent these lifelong disabilities is the spur for the Scottish Spina Bifida Associations to join forces with ASBAH (who provide services in England Wales and Northern Ireland) to promote the Go Folic! Campaign in Scotland

NHS guidelines state that every woman who might become pregnant should take folic acid supplements as a precaution. However, folic acid needs to be taken prior to conception  and not once the woman discovers that she is pregnant, as by that time the fault may already have developed. As most pregnancies are unplanned, the Association recommend that all women of sexually active age should be taking folic acid regularly. Compliance could prevent up to 72% of NTDs. Sadly, most women do not follow the recommendations and so NTD rates remain stubbornly high. 

This is why we urgently need for a new campaign to increase women’s awareness in Scotland of the benefits of taking folic acid if sexually active. 

To find out more about the Go Folic campaign in Scotland please visit the Scottish Spina Bifida Association at www.gofolic.co.uk

The Scottish Spina Bifida Association

The Association was founded in 1965 by a small group of enthusiastic parents who each had a child with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus . 40 years on, the Scottish Spina Bifida Association now employ specialist staff, in their Family Support Centre based in Cumbernauld, and offer a multi-facetted Family Support Service to all those affected by spina bifida, hydrocephalus and allied conditions, across Scotland. To find out more about our services and how we support people affected by spina bifida and hydrocephalus please visit our website

If you require further information or would like to speak to speak with a family support worker in confidence please call 01236 794511 or our lo-call helpline on 08459111112. Alternatively email familysupport@gofolic.co.uk

The Scottish Spina Bifida Association is self funded and require to raise a million every year to continue supporting all those who ask for help. If you wish to find out about ways to help us reach our fundraising goal please email fundraising@gofolic.co.uk or call 01236 794511


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Go Folic! is led by the 
Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus 
(ASBAH), Registered Charity No 249338 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and in
Scotland by the Scottish Spina Bifida Association (SSBA), Scottish Charity No SC 013328.