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Sight and Life, MMS, Special ReportImproving maternal nutrition

A component of poor nutrition is micronutrient deficiency, which can have devastating impacts on maternal health and pregnancy outcomes. Over half of adolescent girls and young women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have inadequate micronutrient intake. Rates of anemia in women of reproductive age increased between 2000 and 2016 – from 31.6 percent to 32.8 percent globally – and little progress has been made in recent years. Because of this and other factors, more than 300,000 women currently die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. And each year, ~20.5 million babies are born with low birth weight (LBW), accounting for 14.6 percent of all births worldwide, with the majority in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.  

The burden of micronutrient deficiencies is still poorly understood in most countries because of vast data gaps and a lack of clear global and national guidance. This applies equally to potential solutions. The good news is that the tide is turning. Catalytic commitments have been made to make multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS) available to those who need it the most, and research from the past two decades has demonstrated a solid evidence base and documented the widespread need for new approaches to combat deficiencies in key vitamins and minerals. New evidence and specific requests from individual countries have also inspired a sea change in the international community. There is no turning back.

This Sight and Life Special Report: Focusing on MMS compiles and curates the latest evidence, experience from the field and resources for scale-up. It aims to serve as an important resource for decision-makers and implementers, thereby driving the introduction and adoption of MMS. 

Contents

Foreword

Maternal Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation (MMS): There is no turning back
Accelerating Maternal Nutrition through Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation in Pregnancy: The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Accelerator
Glossary

The Evidence Base

Reviewing the Evidence and Promoting the Adoption of Multiple Micronutrient Supplements
New Scientific Evidence on the Benefits of Maternal Multiple Micronutrient Supplements
Cost-Effectiveness of Replacing Iron-Folic Acid with Multiple Micronutrient Supplements

Experience from the Field

Experiences Supporting the Introduction and Implementation of Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation for Pregnant Women Globally
The Introduction of Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation Requires a Comprehensive Systems Approach
Formative Research: Ensuring adequate demand, and compliance of MMS in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, and Tanzania
Supply-side Insights from Bangladesh, Madagascar and Tanzania
Ensuring Effective Implementation of MMS for Pregnant Women in Haiti
Better Quality for Better Impact: Optimized packaging and appearance of maternal multiple micronutrient supplements for pregnant women in Indonesia
The Case for Reintroducing Multiple Micronutrient Supplements in South Africa’s Essential Medicines List
One MMS A Day and a Healthy Baby is on the Way – A Social Business Model in Bangladesh 

Resources for Scale-up

Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation Cost-Benefit Tool to Guide Decision-Making
Creating Demand for Multiple Micronutrient Supplements (MMS) – A mini guide
Procurement and Production of Multiple Micronutrient Supplements for Pregnant Women: A Country Assessment Toolkit
Expert Consensus on an Open-Access Product Specification for MMS for Pregnant Women
Integrating MMS in the Wider Context of Improved Health and Human Capital: A Perspective from the Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation
The Role of Donors in Catalyzing Scale-Up of Multiple Micronutrient Supplements
Building Adoptability for Multiple Micronutrient Supplements through Affordability

Afterword

Strong Evidence Supports Antenatal Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation


We very much hope you will enjoy this new Sight and Life Special Reportand trust that it will stimulate new ways of thinking that pave the way for meaningful and lasting change! It is chock-full of thought-provoking articles from a broad range of authors who are leading experts in their fields spanning the public, private, social, and academic sectors. Our deepest thanks to all of them for their contributions!