20 February 2019
DSM with support from Sight and Life Foundation have partnered with a range of external organizations, comprising NGOs, businesses, academia, UN and government agencies, with the aim of supporting efforts in the fight against malnutrition, helping mothers and children to thrive, and nations to prosper.
In this regard Sight and Life Foundation and DSM were a key partner in the development partnership with the private sector Affordable Nutritious Foods for Women (ANF4W) from 2013-2017. The aim of the project was to increase the supply and demand for affordable nutritious foods of women of reproductive age in Ghana. A quality seal ‘OBAASIMA’ was developed to increase consumer awareness, and was awarded to three fortified food products in a pilot. The launch of the OBAASIMA products took place in March 2017 and was accompanied by behavior change communication as well as unbranded and branded marketing campaigns. A new scale-up phase of the initiative, known as Seal the Deal with OBAASIMA Nutritious Foods, will run from 2018 to 2020. The aim of this phase is to create a sustainable model that increases the range, availability and consumption of nutritious food products for women that carry the OBAASIMA quality seal in Ghana.
Maternal micronutrient deficiency is a public health problem in rural Bangladesh. Young married women experiencing their first pregnancy are at high risk of multiple micronutrient deficiencies. A new study in our partnership with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will evaluate effects of a daily pre-conceptional multiple micronutrient supplement (MMS) vs. placebo, on pregnancy outcomes, including mortality, low birth weight or small for gestational age. Sight and Life Foundation and DSM support the local production of multiple micronutrient and placebo tablets for use in the JiVitA-5 adolescent supplementation trial in rural northern Bangladesh. Approximately 15,000 newlywed couples with brides under 20 years of age will be recruited over a 4-years period and be randomized to receive a MMS or placebo daily. It is expected to enroll ~7500 pregnancies. From the end of the 1st trimester all placebo control women will also receive the MMS, due to the significant health benefits (lower risks of preterm birth, low birth weight and still birth) among offspring and mothers who received a prenatal MMS vs. iron-folic acid supplement in the JiVitA-3 trial (West et al, JAMA 2014).
Sight and Life Foundation is at the forefront of research and implementation of maternal MMS, and published a paper together with colleagues from UNICEF and DSM in the Maternal & Child Nutrition journal in December 2017.
Furthermore, Sight and Life Foundation was the initiator of the book, “The Biology of the first 1000 days”, released in October 2017. This new resource, brings together in a single volume of 30 chapters contemporary knowledge about nutrition in the first 1000 days for scientists, program implementers and students.
DSM plays an active role within the Business Network of the SUN (Scaling Up Nutrition) Movement, helping to mobilize companies from all sectors to make a positive contribution to solving the world’s nutrition challenges.
DSM, through its existing public-private partnerships, such as with the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF, Vitamin Angels and World Vision International, aims to reach 50 million beneficiaries (pregnant and breastfeeding woman and children under two) per year by 2020. DSM will also support advocacy efforts through its sphere of influence. Through DSM’s WFP partnership we are expanding rice fortification and demand creation through networks such as the SUN Business Network. In 2016, WFP reached 31.1 million beneficiaries with food that was improved by the DSM-WFP partnership. The partnership has been extended, and another agreement for 2019-2021 has been made.
Looking back at the commitments made, in the first phase of the UNICEF partnership, from 2013-2015, the partnership supported micronutrient powder (MNP) programs in Madagascar and Nigeria. The partnership projects have reached some 400,000 children in Nigeria through an MNP pilot program. Now in the second phase, announced in October 2017, UNICEF, DSM and Sight and Life Foundation aim, in a renewed partnership, to deliver better nutrition to at-risk children and mothers in Nigeria. The partnership focuses on reaching mothers and children with nutrition interventions during the crucial first 1,000 days of children’s lives, from conception to age two. Together, the partners will develop scalable models and drive innovation to improve the quality of food and nutrition in Nigeria, with the goal of spurring similar action in other countries where malnutrition is a critical concern. An addition to this second phase will commence in 2019, and include an India focus.
DSM is also working together with stakeholders like the Government of Rwanda in a partnership called Africa Improved Foods (AIF). In 2017, AIF opened a factory that sources maize and soy from local smallholder farmers and makes fortified porridge. In 2017, 1.7 million vulnerable infants age 6-59 months treated for moderate acute malnutrition through WFP (South Sudan, Northern Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda). In 2017, 74,916 vulnerable infants (6-23 months of age) and 15,344 vulnerable PLW given access to nutritious complementary foods at district health centres through Rwandan Ministry of Health. Selling under the brands NootriMamaTM and NootriTotoTM, the porridge will help people – especially mothers and children – get the nutrients they need. More than 100MT of high-quality nutritious foods for infants and PLW sold in commercial outlets across Rwanda and Uganda. With the creation of 282 jobs, it also creates steady income for thousands of people, including many women, in the region.
DSM signed an agreement in January 2017 with World Vision International and Sight and Life for ‘Joining forces for last mile nutrition’. The parties have worked on improving the raw material quality and access in Rwanda for AIF and has also initiated project EGGciting, focusing on eggs as an important nutrition source.
While still in its initial scoping phase, Project MANDI (Making A Nutrition Difference to India) aims to address nutrition deficiencies amongst young women in India, an often-over-looked target group. MANDI develops nutritious products, designs nutrition counseling and supports the availability of products, to reduce anemia in women.
Women are transferring the legacy of malnutrition from their generation on to the next as poor maternal nutrition is closely related to adverse pregnancy outcomes for both mother and newborn. Every year, more than 20 million infants are born with low birth weight worldwide and 3.6 million infants die during the neonatal period. Multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS) can reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes through improved nutritional status. DSM commits, by December 2017, to invest up to $200,000 to develop a framework for scale-up of MMS in countries with high burdens of under-nutrition and neonatal mortality, investing in capacity development for policy development and advocacy, and contributing in-kind research.
To ensure a broad reach of women, DSM will support steps to integrate MMS into the Nigerian healthcare system and via a market-based approach. DSM will provide program design and implementation support for a pilot delivery of MMS via a community outreach campaign with partner GAIN in Nigeria. In collaboration with private and public sector partners, DSM will also undertake activities to ensure broad availability of efficacious and affordable MMS products on a regional basis. To ensure the maximum number of women have access to the nutrition they need for healthy pregnancies, more funding is required for other critical components such as procurement and distribution of MMS products at scale as well as monitoring and evaluation.
DSM commited to develop a framework for scale-up of prenatal Multiple Micronutrient Supplements (MMS) in countries with high burdens of stunting and low-birth weight. It was planned to establish a case-study in Nigeria. However,the long awaited WHO antenatal care guidelines were not published until November 2016 and did not make the recommendation to replace iron/folic acid supplements in pregnancy by MMS. DSM is working on MMS in other countries through Sight & Life Foundation, such as Bangladesh where micro-nutrients have been assessed in large scale randomized controlled trials study involving pregnant women. Sight & Life continues this work with its partner from John Hopkins University in Bangladesh. Furthermore, with investment in Africa Improved Foods DSM is helping women to increase access and consumption of high quality fortified food with adequate amount of micronutrients. Additionally, DSM through Sight & Life foundation has contributed to Affordable Nutritious Food for Women (AN4FW) in Ghana. This is a multi-stakeholder partnership involving GIZ (German government developing agency), Ajinomoto, and the Ghanian government, who support local SMEs in the development and the marketing of fortified food specifically for women of reproductive age in Ghana. Raw materials are locally sourced and thus provide income opportunities for local farm households, often run by women.
2014- Every Newborn Action Plan
Women are transferring the legacy of malnutrition from their generation on to the next as poor maternal nutrition is closely related to adverse pregnancy outcomes for both mother and newborn. Every year, more than 20 million infants are born with low birth weight worldwide and 3.6 million infants die during the neonatal period. Multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS) can reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes through improved nutritional status. DSM commits to helping develop a framework for scale-up of MMS in countries with high burdens of under-nutrition and neonatal mortality, investing in capacity development for policy development and advocacy, and contributing in-kind research.
To ensure a broad reach of women, DSM will support steps to integrate MMS into the health care system and via a market-based approach. DSM will provide program design and implementation support for a pilot delivery of MMS via a community outreach campaign with partner GAIN in Nigeria. Mainstreaming into existing delivery platforms with health partners is a low-cost and efficient way to reach mothers . In collaboration with private and public sector partners, DSM will also undertake activities to ensure broad availability of efficacious and affordable MMS products on a regional basis. To ensure the maximum number of women have access to the nutrition they need for healthy pregnancies more funding is required for other critical components such as procurement and distribution of MMS products at scale as well as monitoring and evaluation.
DSM partners with Government of India to raise awareness on nutrition. Learn more.