Learn about the Folate Task Team


The Folate Task Team aims to support the implementation of the Roadmap for Action to advance and accelerate the prevention of neural tube defects globally.

Neural tube defects and the Roadmap for Action

As a result of insufficient folate intake before and during a pregnancy, women of reproductive age are at risk of having their baby be born with a neural tube defect (NTD), the most common of which are spina bifida and anencephaly. These birth defects gravely impact the development of a fetus’ brain or spine and often result in early death or life long disability for those who survive. In 2015 it was estimated that there were 260,100 NTD-affected pregnancies.

Between December 2016 and April 2017, the Micronutrient Forum, which was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and hosted by Nutrition International, convened a technical consultation on the Folate Status of Women and Neural Tube Defect Prevention. As a result of this consultation, the Forum published a Roadmap for Action that serves as a guide for harmonized global neural tube defect prevention efforts. The Roadmap was shaped by eight technical reports produced as a Special Supplement by the Annals of the New York Academy of Science.

Who we are


Homero Martinez, MD, PhD

Senior Technical Advisor, NTEAM, Nutrition International

Jessica Poulin, MSc

Knowledge Translation Officer, NTEAM, Nutrition International

Aliki Pappas Weakland, MSW, MPH

Project Consultant, Core Engagement LLC

Core Working Group

Lynn Bailey, PhD

Dr. Bailey is the Chair of the Folate Task Team Core Working Group.

Rajesh Mehta, MD

Dr. Mehta is the Regional Adviser – Newborn, Child and Adolescent health, WHO SEARO.

Afidra O. Ronald, MSc

Afidra Olema Ronald is the Africa Coordinator for the Food Fortification Initiative.


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