46M

People consumed fortified staples in 2019

11M

People received iron through double-fortified salt in 2019

93

Countries fortify staples with iron

The Need

Iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional deficiency in the world. 

Iron-deficiency anaemia can affect all populations, but women and girls are often hit hardest – holding them back from reaching their full potential. Anaemia reduces energy levels and lowers the capacity of people to fully function in their communities and lives, resulting in economic consequences for their families, communities and countries.

Our Solution

Ensuring pregnant women have access to the iron they need to be healthy and have healthy babies.

Nutrition International works closely with governments and their partners to deliver iron supplementation through routine health services, such as antenatal care. We strive to get women and babies the nutrition they need by:

  • Facilitating the development national iron and folic acid supplementation (IFA) guidelines
  • Supporting the development and maintenance of well-managed supply chains to ensure IFA is available at distribution points
  • Training health providers and community health workers to support quality nutrition services, including effective counselling for women
  • Designing or strengthening health information systems to monitor progress and programs
  • Advocating for optimal timing of clamping of the umbilical cord after birth so newborns receive a key infusion of iron from their mothers

Bridging the anaemia gap

We help reduce anaemia in adolescent girls so they can reach their full potential.

Our adolescent nutrition programs bridge the anaemia gap that disproportionately burdens adolescent girls and impacts their potential to succeed in school, their productivity at home and in their communities, and their current and future reproductive health.

Our Solution

Improving adolescent girls’ nutrition through supplementation and nutrition education.

Together with government, civil society and academic partners, we:

  • Support developing enabling policies for adolescent nutrition, and design and implement programs that respond to these policies
  • Prepare gender-sensitive behaviour change intervention strategies and training modules for community awareness and sensitization of health workers on gender equality and gender mainstreaming
  • Train teachers and health workers to provide weekly iron and folic acid supplementation (WIFAS) and integrate nutrition education into the curriculum, linking in key themes of menstrual hygiene management, physical activity, water, sanitation and hygiene, puberty, adolescent pregnancy, and sexual and reproductive health
  • Work to fill global capacity gaps and develop key technical resources to build the capacity of individuals and organizations on adolescent nutrition

Our Solution

Fortifying staple foods with iron to improve the nutritional status of entire populations.

We work with governments, industry partners and other relevant stakeholders to ensure adequate fortification of staples (wheat flour, maize flour and rice) and condiments (double fortified salt) with iron and other micronutrients. We also advocate for policies to ensure that iron is routinely and adequately added to potential food vehicles, and supports the governments and industry partners in effective operationalization of these policies/guidance.

We worked with the University of Toronto to develop double-fortified salt, a scientific breakthrough that involves adding iron to iodized salt. This innovative discovery could potentially boost the health of two billion people suffering from iron-deficiency anaemia.

Fortification with iron programs implemented population-wide have been associated with a 34% reduction in the risk of anemia among women.

Nutrition International is also investing efforts and resources in assessing the feasibility and scope of fortifying pulses with iron and other micronutrients. In collaboration with University of Saskatchewan, we have established evidence on the efficacy of iron-fortified red lentils in improving body iron status of non-pregnant adolescents of rural Bangladesh, and undertaken other market and community assessments.