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Heated Call To Move To Prevention Of Spina Bifida

New Zealand CCS Media Release

It’s now time to move from compensation to prevention of spina bifida – or risk more claims in the future, says New Zealand CCS President, Lyall Thurston.

“Government has known for 10 years that the incidence of spina bifida and other neural tube defects can be reduced by up to 70 percent through mothers-to-be taking a B-group vitamin, folate, through diet or a supplement,” said Mr Thurston.

“Yet we’re still waiting for a public health campaign,” he said.

“We applaud Government’s provision of support for children with spina bifida of veterans exposed to Agent Orange. However lack of action over prevention continues to cost individuals born with neural tube defects, their families, and the health and welfare system significantly - medically, economically, personally, socially and emotionally.

“And any woman is at risk – there does not have to be any indication of neural tube defects in previous generations.”

CCS’s folate awareness lobby is gathering heat, with a “call to action” supported by major health, women’s and child-related groups around the country.

“Enough is enough. We see the serious effects of neural tube defects every day. This is a public health issue and Government should be made to take responsibility - now.”


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