Sunday, July 19, 2009

A PS to the last

I see that the folic acid campaign has been on the go for some twenty years, promoted by disability groups like spina bifida.

I have a bit of a concern about such campaigns. Something that requires everybody to change because a small group is affected may not always be the best approach to a solution. Yes, altering buildings so that they're accessible by disabled people, or making new ones wheelchair accessible and so on, are overall good ideas. They benefit large numbers of people in the community, and not just the disabled.

But making everybody eat something that will only have an effect on a small number seems a somewhat lopsided way of solving the problem of pregnant women not getting enough folic acid. If there is a serious problem for all pregnant women, then fine. But if we look at how many women get pregnant as against how many how many have children with a folic-acid-preventable disease, then forcing folic acid on all pregnant women may not actually be the way to go.

I don't have the answer. I just don't think the answer Australia has come up with is ideal.

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