Ten must see global nutrition stories from 2023
Dive into some of Nutrition International’s milestone moments and success stories of 2023 as we work toward our mission of building a world where everyone, everywhere is free from malnutrition and able to reach their full potential.
Posted on December 18, 2023
Whether child survival or adolescent health, maternal and newborn health and nutrition or large-scale food fortification, Nutritional International works in partnership with governments, donors, and implementers to improve the nutritionally status of people globally.
Take a trip around the world as you explore some of our best stories profiling the people and projects at the heart of what we do. Read on as we share 10 of our highlights of 2023 and take a look at our 2022-2023 Annual Report to learn more about our global impact in nutrition.
The right nutrition at the right time is critical for any young person to realize their full potential. This is particularly true during adolescence, the second most rapid period of growth with the highest nutritional needs after infancy. Recognizing this, the World Health Organization accepted Nutrition International’s submission to add the new weekly iron and folic acid supplementation (WIFAS) formula to the Model List of Essential Medicines. This pivotal decision is set to accelerate adolescent nutrition, reduce anaemia and lower the incidence of neural tube defects in pregnancies for adolescent girls and women in low- and middle-income countries.
Dr. Marion Roche, Nutrition International’s Senior Technical Advisor, Adolescents’ and Women’s Health and Nutrition, delves into the five-year journey leading up to this landmark achievement and explores what it means for adolescent girls and women around the world.
Rice is a household staple in Bangladesh. That makes it a promising prospect for food fortification. Fortifying staple foods with essential vitamins and micronutrients is a proven and cost‐effective intervention that improves the nutritional quality of food for populations at large. Leveraging social safety net programs, which are well established on a wide scale in Bangladesh, is a direct way to connect people with more nutritious food, and address micronutrient deficiencies that exist in the country.
Visit a distribution point for fortified rice, go inside a manufacturing facility to see how rice kernels receive their fortification glow-up, and follow the packaged product as it becomes a midday meal.
Read the photo essay: A look at fortified rice distributed through social safety net programs
Vitamin A is a critical micronutrient for children under five, offering protection against illnesses, infections and preventable deaths, while building immunity. In the challenging terrain of Jigawa, a rural state in northwest Nigeria, hazardous roads hindered the delivery of essential resources like vitamin A supplementation (VAS). Nutrition International helped overcome this obstacle by providing the national supply of vitamin A capsules through its in-kind donation program with UNICEF and offering technical and financial support to Maternal Newborn and Child Health Weeks (MNCHW). The biannual week ensures children under five receive vital health and nutrition services, including VAS, deworming and essential childhood vaccinations. Now, when heavy rains flood the dirt roads in Jigawa, vitamin A supplements are securely transported on motorbikes to reach health workers who deliver them to the children in the state.
Explore this journey, through photos, during a MNCHW in Kwanda town, where health workers are delivering this life-saving intervention to ensure the children in their community can survive and thrive.
Read the photo essay: Delivering vitamin A supplementation to hard-to-reach areas
For decades, pregnant women in Pakistan received daily iron and folic acid (IFA) supplements to reduce the risk of maternal anaemia. But the Government of Pakistan is now exploring replacing IFA with a different supplement: multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS). MMS is a prenatal supplement with 15 essential vitamins and minerals. It has been found to be just as effective as IFA at reducing the risk of maternal anaemia, while being more effective in improving birth outcomes.
Nutrition International is supporting the Government of Pakistan by conducting implementation research on MMS. It will inform approaches to strengthen nutrition counselling, supportive supervision and family engagement when healthcare providers deliver MMS as part of their maternal nutrition services. Watch what happens as a pregnant woman goes for an antenatal check-up at a basic health unit in Swabi District.
In Murang’a County, Kenya, motorcycle taxis are more than just a means of transportation. The drivers, many of whom are dads, are participating in a father-to-father support group that challenges gender stereotypes and norms to increase male engagement in nutrition and caregiving. Formed through domestic funding from a joint partnership agreement between Nutrition International and the Government of Murang’a County, these support groups, guided by community health volunteers and a nutrition coordinator, gather regularly to discuss topics related to maternal, newborn and child health. As a result, group members and their families are noticing positive changes at home.
Read the story: Driving change for fathers in Kenya
In Indonesia, almost one out of every three children are stunted, with dramatic variations across provinces. In partnership with Save the Children, Nutrition International launched the Better Investment for Stunting Alleviation (BISA) project that aims to translate the Government of Indonesia’s National Strategy to Accelerate Stunting into effective action at the sub-national level. Situated in the northern province of West Java, Sumedang district is making significant strides and has been awarded the best district for stunting reduction for three consecutive years. This success can be attributed to the district government’s unwavering commitment and BISA’s interventions that focus on improving nutrition before pregnancy and during the first 1,000 days — from conception to a child’s second birthday.
Discover how this transformative collaboration is making a change through health systems strengthening, digital innovation and supply chain management.
Read the story: Sumedang shines: Exploring stunting reduction in Indonesia
Frontline workers play a key role and often are the initial point of contact to guide women through their pregnancy journeys. Yet, in Tanzania, numerous barriers hinder pregnant women from attending primary healthcare facilities in a timely and consistent manner. In collaboration with the Government of Tanzania, Nutrition International works to improve the survival, nutrition and health of pregnant women, mothers and newborns through comprehensive health system strengthening. This includes building the capacity of frontline health workers to deliver quality care.
Watch these frontline workers in action and see the impact they have on pregnant women and new mothers in Tanzania.
Nutrition International is supporting the Government of Ethiopia to plan, coordinate and implement the Seqota Declaration. Adopted in 2015, the declaration brings together various sectors, communities and development partners to focus on high-impact nutrition interventions with the ultimate goal of eliminating stunting and under nutrition in children under two in Ethiopia by 2030.
We talk to two of Nutrition International’s consultants – embedded in the government over the long-term — who are using their expertise to help the government achieve their ambitious mission.
Period stigma, misinformation and lack of access to resources can hinder adolescent girls’ participation in daily activities, including attending school. As part of our adolescent nutrition program, Nutrition International launched a menstrual health management project in Chandauli district in Uttar Pradesh, India in partnership with the state government. This included training teachers to provide students with education on menstrual health to empower them to better manage their menses and become self-advocates for their own health and nutrition.
See the program in action and learn how we’re shattering stigmas and making a difference in the lives of students and their families.
Senegal is one of the largest producers and exporters of salt in the West Africa sub-region. When fortified with iodine, this commonly consumed condiment has the power to combat iodine deficiency disorders. Iodine is critical for optimal brain development, particularly during fetal development and early childhood stages. Nutrition International actively supports the Government of Senegal’s universal salt iodization program, providing technical and financial assistance to ensure the population has widespread access to this key micronutrient.
Join us on a visual journey as we explore the meticulous process of iodizing salt and introduce the players who are bringing it from sea to table in Senegal.
As we bid farewell to 2023, our commitment is stronger than ever. The battle against malnutrition is at a pivotal juncture and we are poised to forge ahead with renewed determination to ensure that the people we exist to serve have access to the right nutrition at the right time. Read our 2022-2023 Annual Report to learn more about our global impact in nutrition.