Turkmenistan Government to fully support flour fortification
Presidential order will improve nutritional status of children and women in Turkmenistan
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 14 January 2008 –The United Nations Children’s Fund welcomes the Order of the President of Turkmenistan signed on 12 January 2008 regarding the Government’s Self-sustainable Flour Fortification Programme.
According to the Order, the Government will fully finance the flour fortification programme, and work with UNICEF on procuring micronutrients that will be added to supreme grade and first grade flour produced in the country. Fortification of flour with micronutrients that contain iron and folic acid will reduce iron deficiency anaemia and improve productivity and cognitive function of children and women.
The Government’s readiness to self-finance the flour fortification programme serves as a strong testimony to its commitment to child survival and development. The Order on flour fortification will effectively prevent anaemia among children and women and improve the overall nutritional situation in the country.
Flour fortification is one of the components of the Anaemia Prevention and Control Programme in Turkmenistan that UNICEF has been supporting through the Country Programmes of Cooperation with the Government since 1996. Since then, the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, Turkmenistan Bread Association, State Standard Agency, flour mills and UNICEF have achieved concrete results in the area of flour fortification.
Turkmenistan has adopted a new standard for flour fortification in line with international requirements and set up a quality assurance and monitoring system. The staff of the Ministry of Health and Bread Association have increased their knowledge on flour fortification and the Scientific-Clinical Centre of Mother and Child Healthcare monitors the impact of the programme.
Flour fortification programme is one of the many programmes of the Government of Turkmenistan that increasingly contributes to the health and well being of the children and women of Turkmenistan. In 2001, the Government of Turkmenistan switched to 100% financing of vaccines procurement using UNICEF Procurement Services and in 2004, the country achieved Universal Salt Iodization.