Prevention

Prevention through food fortification will reduce neural tube defects by 70%

We are actively working to make this a reality

The primary cause of neural tube birth defects is a lack of sufficient folic acid (a B vitamin) in the mother’s diet. Every pregnancy is potentially at risk from being affected by a neural tube defect; however, the majority of cases could be avoided with simple prevention measures: 1) Folic acid supplementation of mothers, and 2) A national food fortification program. 

We are committed to

Forging deep relationships to ensure meaningful and lasting change

Working on solutions to address the neural tube defect crisis at its roots

Inspiring medical professionals with a new perspective on neural tube defects

Prevention & Awareness – An integral part of the solution

To address the alarming rate of babies born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus in Ethiopia each year, ReachAnother is working with international partners to implement a two-pronged approach: 1) Primary prevention, which aims to prevent neural tube defects before they occur through food fortification, and 2)  Secondary prevention through education, awareness and folic acid supplements for at-risk families.

Salt Fortification Project

In 2018, ReachAnother was asked by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to develop a plan to bring folic acid to all women of childbearing age. We formed an international coalition of global partners and held a Technical Expert Conference to present a solution of fortification of iodized salt with folic acid to the Ethiopian government.

We are currently working with Nutrition International and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute to proceed with the preliminary studies needed to assess salt fortification with folic acid, its stability and patient acceptance.

Our web of collaboration includes the Center for Spina Bifida Prevention of Emory University, Nutrition International, the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, the Food Fortification Initiative (CDC) and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.

Once implemented, a folic acid food fortification program will decrease the incidence of neural tube defects by 70%. Because flour is not part of a traditional Ethiopian diet, salt fortification will ensure that folic acid reaches the overall population.

Education & Awareness

ReachAnother is working with Ethiopian public health officials and international charity organizations to educate women on the benefits of taking folic acid supplements as part of their daily routines. Since its inception, ReachAnother Foundation has worked to “spread the word” about prevention to all audiences in Ethiopia.

Through collaborative partnerships with the neurosurgeons, Regional Health Bureaus, Rotary Clubs, Universities and the Ethiopian Midwifery Organization, and through interviews and presentations on radio and TV, we have created increasing public awareness and educated hundreds of health extension worker, midwives, physical therapists about neural tube defect awareness, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Salt Fortification Project

In 2018, we were asked by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to develop a plan to bring folic acid to all women of childbearing age. We formed an international coalition of global partners and held a Technical Expert Conference to present a solution of ‘fortification of iodized salt with folic acid’ to the Ethiopian government.

We are currently working with Nutrition International and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute to proceed with the preliminary studies needed to assess salt fortification with folic acid, its stability, and patient acceptance.

Our web of collaboration includes the Center for Spina Bifida Prevention of Emory University, Nutrition International, the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, the Food fortification Initiative (CDC) and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.

Once implemented, a folic acid food fortification program will decrease the incidence of neural tube defects by 70%. Because flour is not part of a traditional Ethiopian diet, salt fortification will ensure that folic acid reaches the overall population.

Education & Awareness


ReachAnother is working with Ethiopian public health officials and international charity organizations to educate women on the benefits of taking folic acid supplements as part of their daily routines. Since its inception ReachAnother Foundation has worked to ‘spread the word’ about prevention to all audiences in Ethiopia.

Through collaborative partnerships with the neurosurgeons, Regional Health Bureaus, Rotary Clubs, Universities and the Ethiopian Midwifery Organization, and through interviews and presentations on Radio and TV, we have created increasing public awareness and educated hundreds of health extension worker, midwives, physical therapists about neural tube defect awareness, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Training Film for Hydrocephalus & Spina Bifida

“We believe in collaboration and empowering our Ethiopian partners to create a better future for children born with neural tube defects in Ethiopia. In order to do that, we continually explore new avenues, new partnerships and new creative ways to have the most impact”

Chloe Honaker Richon

Executive Administrator