Mühlenchemie and SternVitamin supply micronutrients to selected countries all over the word. In our focus to scale up nutrition is the fortification of staple food for proactive broad distribution to increase micronutrient intake.
Globally, more than two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies / hidden hunger.
The group most vulnerable to micronutrient deficiencies is pregnant or lactating woman and young children because they have an increased need for vitamins and minerals and are more susceptible to the harmful consequences of those deficiencies.
27% of children under the age of 5 are stunted, and in many developing countries women are on high risk of micronutrient deficiencies due to gender inequality and poor dietary practices.
Micronutrient deficiencies among women and children are a severe public health concern and are linked to stunting. Stunting is an indicator of chronic malnutrition during the first 1000 days of a child’s life is observed in 35 % of children in Kenya and 42 % in Tanzania.
Malnutrition in women and children is attributed to inadequate dietary diversity, poor infant and young child feeding practices and infectious diseases. The diversity of the diet of women in the partner countries might be low for various reasons: by custom, meals consist predominantly of one staple crop; poverty or a remote location limit access to nutritious foods; and often, too, the low status of women at the family table may limit the diversity of their diets.
Interventions to improve maternal and child micronutrient status in vulnerable populations worldwide have consistently ranked among the best buy investments for national development (cf. e.g. the Copenhagen Consensus results 2012). Many approaches exist to fight malnutrition. They are complementary rather than mutually exclusive. It is increasingly recognized that the private sector also plays an important role in achieving adequate nutrition.
Since nutrition-behavior change is an extensive and long-term process, the Mühlenchemie/SternVitamin project complements nutrition behavior change communication with market based approaches and fortification of staple foods, which allows increasing micronutrient intake without changing dietary habits.
The project seeks to improve the nutrition of women of reproductive age particularly during the critical window of pregnancy through the first two years postpartum (the so-called “first 1000 days” of a child’s life).
The overall project goal is to increase the number of women of reproductive age with an improved intake of micronutrients (iron, zinc, and folic acid) in selected countries.
The achievement of the objective will be measured using the following indicator:
- Through the project the number of women of reproductive age served with micronutrient-rich foods increases by 500,000 (Kenya and Tanzania)