London, 28th February 2023 — The Power of Nutrition today announced a new partnership with World Vision and Kirk Humanitarian to deliver a $2.8 million programme addressing malnutrition in Zambia. An in-kind partnership, the programme is the first of its kind for The Power of Nutrition and marks its 22nd programme in 16 countries since inception in 2015.
Working closely with the government of Zambia, the co-investment is designed to support a transition from Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) for pregnant women, to Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation (MMS), alongside other interventions, to improve their nutrition and health in three provinces of Zambia over two and a half years.
Poor maternal nutrition is a known cause of low birth weight in Zambia, which in turn is closely linked with infant morbidity and mortality. The new programme targets the three regions in Zambia with the highest proportion of low-birth-weight infants, where it ranges from 8 to 17%. Historically, Zambia has focused on IFA supplementation during pregnancy to boost iron levels and prevent maternal anaemia. Global research shows that MMS is a more effective option, providing not only iron and folic acid, but an additional 13 essential micronutrients.
In addition to MMS, the programme will also promote interventions such as breastfeeding, deworming and vitamin A supplementation, as well as building the capacity of health workers and community-based volunteers who deliver them and support pregnant women.
The programme will be implemented by World Vision, working closely with the Government of Zambia’s Ministry of Health and with the support from The Power of Nutrition’s programmes team. Kirk Humanitarian will donate the MMS product for the programme, valued at USD $715,000.
Wezi Kaira, Integrated Programmes Director at World Vision Zambia said: “World Vision Zambia is excited to work hand in glove with the Ministry of Health in piloting the transition from Folic Acid (IFA) to Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation (MMS) in three provinces of Zambia. We anticipate this project will go a long way in reducing poor birth outcomes such as low birth weight and preterm birth. The benefits of the project will go beyond the pregnant women and children and will extend to health system strengthening through the capacity development of health workers and community-based volunteers. We are grateful to our funding partners, Power of Nutrition and Kirk Humanitarian, for their generous support and we will ensure the project is effectively implemented.”
Spencer Kirk at Kirk Humanitarian said: “Inadequate nutrition is proven to have a severe and lasting impact on mothers and babies. We can, and must, do better. When pregnant women gain access to MMS, specifically United Nations International Multiple Micronutrient Antenatal Preparation (UNIMMAP MMS), the world benefits. That is why Kirk Humanitarian is actively supporting Zambia and an additional 16 countries worldwide to introduce MMS.”
Alok Ranjan, Director of Programmes and Investments at The Power of Nutrition added: “It’s great to confirm our 22nd programme in a new country, Zambia, supporting 300,000 pregnant women in Zambia thanks in part to our partnership with Kirk Humanitarian, the leading purchaser and donor of MMS. We’re also delighted to be working with World Vision for the first time as an implementing partner and thank the Government of Zambia for joining forces and providing the enabling environment for this evidence-based partnership. The programme has the potential to transform maternal nutrition across the whole country and beyond, so we’re very excited to get going and see transformative results”.
Over the two and a half years, the programme is expected to prevent the death of an additional 2,390 children in Zambia. With the yield benefits 331 times greater than the costs, it is hoped that MMS will be adopted more widely across the whole country, and contribute to wider efforts to see MMS adopted, instead of IFA, across Africa and Asia.
NOTES TO EDITOR
About The Power of Nutrition
The Power of Nutrition is a charitable foundation that unites businesses, governments, investors and non-profits in a joint mission to end the cycle of malnutrition. Our innovative finance and partnership model maximises nutrition investments to make resources go further.
We currently have 22 programmes in 16 countries with high rates of malnutrition across Africa and Asia. Each is aligned with national government plans, carefully designed to deliver impact at scale, and is based around a core set of evidence-based, high-impact interventions known to improve child, adolescent, and maternal nutrition.
To date, our programmes have enabled over 115 million women, children and adolescents to access essential nutrition interventions and services that are truly changing lives. Visit https://www.powerofnutrition.org/ for more information on our work and on how to partner with us.
About Kirk Humanitarian
Kirk Humanitarian is a private family foundation dedicated to improving global health through a focus on women’s nutrition during pregnancy. Kirk Humanitarian’s mission is to accelerate the availability, uptake, and use of United Nations International Multiple Micronutrient Antenatal Preparation Multiple Micronutrient Supplements (UNIMMAP MMS) among women at risk of undernutrition during pregnancy to create a healthier and more equitable world. Kirk Humanitarian partners with global NGOs with the ability to distribute UNIMMAP MMS on a large scale in humanitarian settings and supports national governments in low- and middle-income countries in efforts to sustainably transition from iron-folic acid supplementation (IFA) to MMS by donating an initial supply of UNIMMAP MMS to qualified grantees. To learn more, please visit www.kirkhumanitarian.org.
About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
World Vision works to positively affect behaviour change and strengthen systems that directly impact the nutritional needs of households and communities. World Vision’s approaches trigger and/or catalyse behaviour change of caregivers of children, household members, and communities to adopt practices that positively contribute to improved nutrition.
Active in Zambia since 1981, World Vision works in over 72 districts across 10 provinces to serve vulnerable children and communities in the country. With a workforce of over 500 professional staff, World Vision works closely with communities, partners, and the Government of the Republic of Zambia to ensure vulnerable children enjoy life in all its fullness.