The University of British Columbia's Micronutrient Project team, led by Judy McLean, have had extensive experience at all levels of home fortification with Micronutrient Powders (MNP) programs. This includes having implemented country level programs including all steps from the intervention design, stakeholder mapping, formative work, development of monitoring and evaluation tools, design of behaviour change communication (BCC) materials including packaging, monitoring and evaluation, and policy recommendations.
Home fortification involves using single-serve MNP sachets containing a premix of vitamins and minerals that are easily sprinkled onto semi-solid foods. It is strategy that enables families to instantly fortify prepared foods in the home, including complementary foods for infants and young children and homemade and prepared foods from local staples. MNP, as part of IYCF programs, show consistent results and offer a safe strategy that can reach large numbers of young vulnerable children in a relatively short time period with long lasting results.
Vitamin and minerals are referred to as ‘micro’ nutrients as they are very small molecules needed in the body in only tiny amounts. While small in size they are large in impact on health as they play a vital role in almost every aspect of human development and function. A diet may meet energy needs, hence the feeling of hunger is not present, but does not contain adequate vitamins and minerals. This is known as hidden hunger.
Micronutrient Powders (MNP): powdered vitamin and mineral supplement used to‘fortify’ a food in the home to increase micronutrient content to acceptable DRIs
We take a community-based approach to solutions with current home-fortification with Micronutrient Powders (MNP) projects in in Rwanda and other sub-Saharan African countries. Our interdisciplinary team has expertise in nutritional science, agriculture, gender, behaviour change communication, food science and related technologies, as well as experience in the development, implementation and evaluation of national nutrition interventions.
Our focus is on vulnerable populations, particularly women and young children, who bear the greatest burden of hidden hunger as deficiencies of key micronutrients in the first 1000 days of life impact cognitive and physical development as well as reproductive health and productivity across the lifespan.