Working Group Folic Acid & Health starts social campaign

Working Group Folic Acid & Health (Arbeitskreis Folsäure und Gesundheit) wins supporters for awareness campaign for World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day on 25 October 2022. Facebook and Instagram posts raise awareness for sufficient folate supply to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.

"Sufficient folate supply before and during pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida" - Placing this important message with as many women of childbearing age, couples who wish to have children and in relevant professional circles as possible is a central concern of the Working Group Folic Acid & Health. This is why the working group, supported by dk Life Science Communications, has this year for the first time implemented a social media campaign for World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day on 25 October and the associated "Awareness Month" October together with well-known multipliers. 

Using communicative intersections 

In addition to traditional education and public relations work, it is important to always look for new ways and channels to reach relevant target groups. However, the resources of many working groups, organisations and associations in the field of health prevention are limited. One possibility is cooperation between different actors and the use of synergies. Thus, the working group Folic Acid & Health succeeded in winning over the Professional Association of Gynaecologists (BVF), the Federal Association of German Pharmacist Associations (ABDA), the Network - Healthy into Life of the Federal Centre for Nutrition (BZfE), the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Working Group (ASBH), the Professional Association of Oecotrophology (VDOE) and the customer information platform Folio Familie for the social media campaign. The specially created social media package offered the multipliers extensive, target group-oriented content and appealing illustrations on four thematic blocks: "Facts & Figures", "Desire for Children & Pregnancy", "Folates & Folate-rich Nutrition" and "Neural Tube & Neural Tube Defects". The free and modular choice of content made it possible to easily integrate the content into the social media channels and editorial plans of the respective cooperation partners. 

Preventive importance of folic acid and folate  

Both the synthetically produced folic acid and the naturally occurring folate compounds are grouped together as folates, which belong to the B vitamins (B9). In Germany, many women of childbearing age do not consume enough folate and have too low folate stores in their bodies with a view to possible pregnancy. Optimal pre-conceptional folic acid supplementation can help to significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects and other congenital malformations. However, knowledge is often lacking: studies such as "Gelis"* and "SuSe II"** have recently shown again how urgent the need for education and counselling still is. And 1 in 1,000 pregnancies in Germany is still affected by a neural tube defect, of which at least 50 percent could be avoided. The social media package of the Working Group Folic Acid & Health serves to raise awareness of the preventive role of folates and in particular of pre-conceptional folic acid supplementation together with multipliers via previously unused communication channels. 

#worldspinabifidaday #spinabifidaawarenessmonth #spinabifida #spinabifidaawareness #folic acid #folate #pregnancy #childbearing #prevention #neural tube defect

* Nutrient supplementation before, during and after pregnancy: results of the cluster-randomised "Healthy Living in Pregnancy" study; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9262633/ 

** Study to collect data on breastfeeding and infant feeding in Germany - SuSe II; https://www.dge.de/fileadmin/public/doc/ws/dgeeb/14-dge-eb/14-DGE-EB-Vorveroeffentlichung-Kapitel3.pdf