Folic Acid Education & Prematurity Campaign
Bureau of Family Nutrition
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services
All women of childbearing age in the State of Illinois
All women of childbearing age need folic acid every day to help reduce the risk of having a child with birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, called neural tube defects.
The March of Dimes' Illinois Folic Acid Coalition works with professional groups and the general public in a wide variety of settings to educate women on the importance of taking folic acid every day and to establish prematurity as a major health issue among Illinoisans.
The Folic Acid Campaign is conducted by the Greater Illinois Chapter of the March of Dimes. The campaign distributes educational materials statewide and provides brochures in English and Spanish to maternal and child health providers. Information is also delivered via health fairs, conferences and public service announcements.
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In partnership with the March of Dimes, the Department's education campaign has proven to be effective in the following ways:
- The March of Dimes continues to provide over 400,000 pieces of free literature through its stateside literature distribution program at numerous health fairs and conferences.
- The March of Dimes hosts an annual health conference for Spanish speaking women in November. This conference focuses on health issues related to prematurity & folic acid and is currently in its 8th year.
- The March of Dimes co-hosted a workshop, "Preventing Birth Defects and Promoting Healthy Pregnancies" with the Illinois Department of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology on April 30, 2008 at the DuPage County Health Department.