Duration: 5:20" minutes
Keywords: Nutrition, Micronutrients, Health, Iodine Deficiency, Iron Deficiency, Vitamin A
Main shooting locations: Zambia, Egypt, Madagascar
Micronutrient deficiencies - in particular, deficiencies in vitamin A, iron, folic acid and iodine - cause a wide range of serious health problems including birth defects, maternal death, childhood mortality, impaired physical and mental growth, blindness, anemia and increased susceptibility to infections. More than two billion people - mostly women and children - are affected.
The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) - a new alliance of public and private sector partners will be launched during the United Nations Special Session on Children on the 9th of May. It will work to leverage cost-effective food fortification initiatives that promise to improve the health and productivity of the poorest nations.
Zambia - Vitamin A Fortified Sugar
As Vitamin A is essential for the functioning of the immune system, children are at much greater risk of dying from common childhood illness like measles. The problem can be solved easily by fortifying food staples such as sugar and flour.
This video segment from Zambia illustrates how a private sugar company, Zambia Sugar, is fortifying sugar with Vitamin A to ensure that everyone, especially children get the needed amounts in their diet. It also illustrates how through a public campaign, people are educated on the importance of Vitamin A and encouraged to use fortified sugar.
Madagascar - Iodized Salt
Lack of iodine, an essential micronutrient, still threatens the growth and mental development of millions of children around the world. Iodine deficiency is the leading cause of preventable mental retardation and in severe cases can cause cretinism and goitre. Yet the use of iodized salt is a simple and cost effective way to eliminate iodine deficiency.
This segment illustrates how in Madagascar, a salt producer, Les Salines d'Iftay, in partnership with UNICEF, is iodizing salt, and by using it in their household cooking, mothers can protect their children from iodine deficiency.
Egypt - Fortifying Flour with Iron
Three out of every four people in the world are affected by iron deficiency, and although the signs are not evident, the consequences are everywhere. Two billion people, or one out of every three people, suffer from anemia, the most severe form of iron deficiency.
This segment illustrates how in Egypt the problem of iron deficiency is being tackled through the fortification of flour. By adding iron to foods that are regularly consumed and that can be fortified, such as wheat flour, a greater number of people are getting the needed dose of iron in their daily diet.
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