Open Access UNICEF–CDC global assessment of home fortification interventions 2011: Current status, new directions, and implications for policy and programmatic guidance

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Background. Micronutrient powders (MNP) reduce anemia and improve iron status in children aged 6 to 23 months. Little is known about home fortification interventions in low-income and middle-income countries.

Objective. To describe highlights of the Global Assessment of Home Fortification Interventions 2011, new directions, and needed policy and programmatic guidance.

Methods. A cross-sectional survey of home fortification interventions was conducted. Staff at UNICEF and regional focal points at Home Fortification Technical Advisory Group partner agencies sent questionnaires to representatives in 152 low-income and middle-income countries. Included interventions met the following criteria: they were for prevention and used MNP, lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS), or complementary food supplements (CFS); one recommended mode of use was mixing into food; they were implemented or planning to start within 12 months; and research interventions were directly linked to programs.

Results. This study identified 63 implemented interventions (36 countries) and 28 planned interventions (21 countries), including 34 implemented interventions (22 countries) and 25 planned interventions (20 countries) that used MNP. These interventions were expected to reach 17.2 million people in 2011, including 14.1 million participants in MNP interventions. Among implemented interventions, 16% distributed nationally. Most interventions used integrated approaches targeting young children. Recently, there was increasing expansion of interventions in Africa. The main challenges identified were monitoring and evaluation, adherence, product funding, and procurement.

Conclusions. Home fortification interventions, especially those that use MNP, are increasing and scaling up rapidly in regions with widespread problems of micronutrient deficiencies and stunting. Home fortification interventions contribute to global initiatives to reduce undernutrition.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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