Healthier children, healthier futures

Countries: Nigeria, India

A partnership between dsm-firmenich, UNICEF and Sight and Life (SAL) seeks to deliver better nutrition to at-risk children and pregnant women in Nigeria and advocate the importance of increasing access to vital nutrients during the critical first 1,000 days of a child’s life for optimal physical and cognitive development. The partnership aims at creating an enabling policy environment and strengthening the capacity of governments to implement and scale-up micronutrient programs to help reduce deficiencies in children and women. Through advocacy and the mobilization of stakeholders in the private and public sectors, the partnership is helping to improve awareness and teach mothers and children the benefits of consuming nutritious food and healthier diets.

Inadequate and/or poor diet is one of the main reasons for high stunting and wasting rates in Nigeria, where only 34.5% children in the 6-23-month age group meet the minimum dietary diversity needed to obtain adequate intake of micronutrients. This partnership focuses on implementation science and seeks to improve the impact of micronutrient interventions.

Key details

  • The Micronutrient Powder (MNP) program reaches 3,000,000 children in the 6-23-month age group
  • As a result of this initiative, over 1 million children in the 6-59-month age group received MNP in 10 states of Nigeria.
  • The number of Nigerian states that integrated MNP into their nutrition programs to improve dietary diversity went up from 10 to 24. 
  • The capacity of 300 government officials in Nigeria was built in MNP programing as part of Infant and Young Child Feeding or IYCF practices.
  • Businesses now have enhanced capacity and are aware of regulatory and quality issues around complementary foods and other nutrients including MNP. 
  • Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation or MMS has been integrated into the micronutrient guidelines in Nigeria.

 

Impact of the partnership so far

  • The partnership supports the Government of Nigeria to introduce and scale up a large program to deliver vital nutrients to at-risk populations. The partnership is estimated to have improved the nutritional health of about 3 million children by reaching mothers and children during their crucial first 1,000 days of life. Based on the experience in Nigeria, the program will be launched in Mexico with the aim to improve the capacity of health workers to prevent, diagnose and manage all forms of malnutrition among pregnant women and young children.
  • In India, the partnership has created IMPAct4Nutrition. Through this platform, companies are mobilized to create awareness and promote the consumption of healthy diets among employees and their families, as well as among customers and suppliers. More than 200 pledged companies have contributed pro bono resources to reach almost 2.5 million people across the country.
  • dsm-firmenich, Sight and Life, and UNICEF have joined the Generation Unlimited Sustainable Food Systems platform to provide young people in Africa with the opportunities and skills needed to succeed in the workforce. The platform brings together partners to stimulate youth employment and entrepreneurial skills in Africa and agrifood value chains.

dsm-firmenich, Sight and Life, and UNICEF aim to develop these programs further and to expand the partnership into other countries on the African continent, starting in 2023.

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