At the Neuroscience20 (N20) Summit held along with the G20 meeting of global leaders at Bali earlier this month, member countries wanted to make fortifying staple foods like cereals and salts with folic acid to reduce prevalence of deaths from Spina Bifida-F, a spinal birth defect. According to Dr Sandip Chatterjee, president of the Indian Society of Paediatric Neurosurgery, eight countries including the UK and USA have already ordered compulsory fortification of staples with folic acid and now, experts wish the remaining 12 countries including India, China and Indonesia to implement this World Health Organization recommendation. Studies have shown that up to 80 per cent of Spina Bifida cases can be prevented if women of childbearing age are given the WHO recommended dosage of folic acid supplements. In India, six to 10 children out of a thousand are born with this defect where the spine and spinal cord dont form properly, requiring life-long treatment and often a series of surgeries that can cost up to ₹50 lakh.The neurologists grouping from G20 countries was set up as a part of an initiative by US President Barrack Obama nearly a decade ago. The N20 discussed a bunch of neurological issues but focused on the prevention of Spina Bifida as it is believed to lead to rising healthcare costs in large parts of the world including India. Experts wish to raise awareness about this and get India, who is the current chair of G20, to implement this life-saving move.