On 23 May 2017 in Antananarivo, GRET, in partnership with social business Nutri’zaza, officially launched a new Food fortification programme (PFOA), funded by the European Union, the objective of which is to improve the nutritional status of vulnerable Malagasy populations suffering from micronutrient deficiencies – and more specifically that of women and children.
Malnutrition remains a major public health problem in Madagascar, where 47 % of children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition, 42 % are deficient in vitamin A, 50 % are anaemic, and 38 % of women are also anaemic. During the launch workshop, the director general of the Malagasy ministry of Public Health pointed out that the fight against malnutrition is still one of the State’s priorities. One of the major causes of chronic malnutrition is insufficient consumption of nutritionally rich foods, which is generally due to difficulties in accessing foods that are appropriate from a nutritional, organoleptic and economic point of view. The current low level of education among the population on adequate eating practices also plays an important role in the equation.
With its twenty years of experience in the area of nutrition, GRET works to raise populations’ awareness on best nutritional practices and to make locally produced quality fortified foods – that comply with national standards – affordable and available over the long term for as many people as possible. Following on actions to distribute and promote local fortified foods, GRET works in association with Malagasy social business Nutri’zaza, which is continuing the fight it has been leading for more than four years, rolling out its distribution networks for “Koba Aina”: a fortified complementary food that is highly suited to the context in Madagascar, for children aged between 6 and 24 months.
The launch made it possible to officially present the key areas of this project, focusing on raising awareness on balanced, fortified eating practices, and strengthening sustainable access to fortified foods. Three new fortified products for women and older children (aged 2 to 5 and 6 to 14) will also be designed and distributed in partnership with the Nutripass Joint Research Unit and the Institute of Research for Development (IRD) and the Laboratory of biochemistry applied to food science at the University of Antananarivo (Labasan).
Through this project, national capacities for the production and distribution of fortified products will be strengthened. The National office for nutrition and the ministry of Public Health will receive support to implement a framework for multi-stakeholder consultation focusing on fortified foods, and a legal and regulatory framework for fortified products that are put on the market. This project will be implemented over a four-year period (2017-2020) and will concern 45 districts in Madagascar, and an overall population of 650,000 people.
Read the article “Local fortified foods: a key element in the fight against malnutrition”
Read the publication “Public-private partnerships to combat malnutrition?”