To assess the knowledge and intake of folic acid among teachers of childbearing age and to identify barriers to folic acid intake.Setting
Governmental schools, which included 14 primary models, 29 primary, 14 preparatory and 16 secondary schools. The proportion of teachers in each stratum was then determined, and a stratified random sampling design had been used with proportional allocation.Study design
A total of 406 non-pregnant teachers of childbearing age enrolled in the study. A validated questionnaire in the Arabic language was used.Results
The overall response rate was 98%. About 34.6% reported the optimal period in which they should take folic acid, 28.3% reported the correct intake duration and only 29.5% could name food rich in folic acid. Friends and healthcare providers were the main sources of information for the participants; however, 44% said that they did not receive enough information from their healthcare providers.Conclusion
There is a lack of knowledge and poor intake of folic acid among the participants. In particular, they lacked information about the appropriate time to start folic acid supplementations, the duration of intake and the folic acid-rich food. The most common reason being the limited advice given by their healthcare providers.
Awareness campaigns are recommended to emphasise the role of healthcare providers in counselling women about the proper use of folic acid before pregnancy.