The project supports a Micronutrient Initiative program which aims to increase the nutritional status of vulnerable populations, specifically children under five, pregnant women, and women of child-bearing age. Essential basic health interventions are provided through health systems or community health events with the goal of reducing child mortality rates. These interventions include the provision of vitamin A supplements to help decrease the risk of disease and blindness, zinc supplements for the treatment of diarrheal disease, and adequately iodized salt to prevent severe mental impairment. By 2014, this program is expected to: save the lives of two million children under five who would otherwise have died due to vitamin A or zinc deficiency; substantially improve the cognitive development of young children; and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from severe mental impairment.
Key results from the Micronutrient Initiative’s (MI) programming for the 2010 year include the following provisional data: Children that received vitamin A supplementation supported by the MI: 211 million globally. The number of people provided with iodised salt in 2010 due to MI support: 328 million, with 1,298, 413 metric tonnes of additional salt iodised due to MI support. Overall impact estimates for 2010 are that MI supported interventions averted an additional 250 000 – 590 000 child (6-59 months) deaths, and an additional 270 000 children being born without mental impairments. (Estimated # of deaths averted shows a factor of 10% – 23% mortality reduction as it represents the range of potential impact associated with vitamin a deficiency).