We use various channels to distribute micronutrient powders in conjunction with behavior change programs to ensure appropriate use of both powders and fortified foods.
More than 2 billion people globally are estimated to be deficient in key vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin A, iodine, zinc and folic acid.
Micronutrient deficiencies, which can cause an irreversible reduction in cognitive ability, most severely affect children between six months and two years old, contributing to increased rates of illness and death from infectious diseases and mental impairment.
While effective solutions, including micronutrient powders and food fortification are available, children continue to suffer from largely preventable deficiencies due to low access to these interventions.
Our Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition strategy, focuses on preventing malnutrition by targeting the first 1,000 days of life. For children six to 23 months old, this includes:
- Continued promotion of breastfeeding for the first two years of life, with appropriate complementary feeding.
- The promotion of home fortification with micronutrient powder (MNP).
Packed with essential micronutrients, caregivers add MNP to a child’s homemade family food in order to prevent and treat iron deficiency anemia. The same powder can also be used more regularly and longer term for children 6 to 23 months old to ensure they receive critical micronutrients.
In addition to home fortification, we support large scale, national efforts to fortify foods such as flour, oil, salt and sugar. Food fortification is a proven cost‐effective approach to bring a lasting solution to micronutrient deficiency. Food fortification schemes require a functional market system and the full, coordinated participation of the private sector, regulatory bodies and consumers alike to be successful.
Making a Difference
PSI Mozambique runs a micronutrient project that increases access to MNPs via pharmacists and private retailers across the country.