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Flour Fortification Project "Smarter Futures"

Place: uganda, Africa
Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products
Total Budget: € 0,00 | Period: From June 2009 To

Summary

In 2009 the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus together with partners launched Smarter Futures project to work toward preventing problems caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies, that can lead to diseases such as spina bifida, impaired learning capacity, and decreased productivity.

Flour fortification is one strategy for addressing such deficiencies because it delivers essential nutrients through staple foods. It does not require consumers to change their eating or buying habits.

The aim of Smarter Futures is to improve health in Africa through the enrichment of wheat and maize flour with essential vitamins and minerals.

The Dutch government contributed to the project and in its evaluation concluded that the Smarter Futures partnership for Africa and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Premix Facility were among seven projects rated as having “very good overall performance”.

More information: http://www.smarterfutures.net/

Partnership

The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus - Belgium

Lead applicant

The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) is the worldwide umbrella organisation (INGO) for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus organisations. It was created in 1979 by national organisations of people with these impairments and their parents. Today IF's members consist of 55 regional and national umbrella organisations for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Furthermore, IF has intensive contact with regional and national organisations spread over five continents. IF's activities are focused on the dissemination of information and expertise throughout the world to families, individuals, professionals and volunteers involved in the field of Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida. The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus holds Special Consultative Status at the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and Participatory Status at the Council of Europe. Through the PROGRESS programme, IF holds a privileged relationship with the European Commission. IF is a founding member of Child Help, a Belgian organisation that focuses on development cooperation. IF is part of the Executive Management Team of the Food Fortification Initiative (FFI).

Akzo Nobel - Netherlands

Initiative partner

Food Fortification Initiative - United States

Initiative partner

The aim of Smarter Futures is to improve health in Africa through the enrichment of wheat and maize flour with essential vitamins and minerals.

  • FORTIMAS: An Approach for Tracking the Population Coverage and Impact of a Flour Fortification Program
    http://www.smarterfutures.net/fortimas
  • Our events: http://www.smarterfutures.net/events
  • and other Activities: http://www.smarterfutures.net/
  • Or 2014 workplan: http://www.smarterfutures.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Smarter_Futures_2014.pdf
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Cost and Economic Benefit Training Cost and Economic Benefit Training Workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf FORTIMAS: An Approach for Tracking the Population Coverage and Impact of a The primary aim of the guide is to propose a population-level data collection approach to help answer the question, “is the micronutrient status of those who regularly consume sufficient quality fortified flour improving?”. During the planning stages of FORTIMAS, it may be useful to “work backwards” from the ultimate aim and review the issues that need to be addressed to achieve it.

Fortification is making tremendous progress in Africa as part of comprehensive nutrition strategies. Countries often fortify wheat and maize flour as well as other staple foods such as cooking oil, sugar, and salt as part of their approach to addressing vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

As Africa experiences a rising trend in economic growth and emerging common markets, regional bodies are harmonizing fortification standards. This facilitates trade across country borders. 

African leaders are working to develop their national and regional standards in conjunction with World Health Organization recommendations for wheat and maize flour fortification. The private sector is being engaged to embrace flour fortification with essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, folic acid and other B-vitamins.

 

After a successful launch, the “Smarter Futures” partnership to promote improved nutrition through flour fortification in Africa scaled up its efforts with a commitment from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands to contribute 1.5 million Euros (US $ 1.8 million) over the next five years. 

In September 2008, only six countries in Africa had legislation to require wheat flour fortification. Currently 18 countries in Africa have these mandates, at least three countries fortify more than half their flour through voluntary efforts, and six countries have documented efforts that they are planning a national-scale flour fortification program. See a list of African countries and their wheat flour fortification legislative status.

More information: http://www.ffinetwork.org/regional_activity/africa.php

More stories: http://ifglobal.org/en/spina-bifida/testimonies

Francesca's Story More stories: http://ifglobal.org/en/spina-bifida/testimonies

Fred Grant, Regional Nutrition Program Advisor, Helen Keller International; Kees Oudijk, Business Development Manager Ferrazone, Akzo Nobel; Scott Montgomery, FFI Director (Chair); Paulus Verschuren, Special Envoy Food and Nutrition Security for Development, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Lieven Bauwens, Secretary General IF; Anna Verster, Senior Advisor FFI/Smarter Futures (secretary); Ronald Afidra, FFI Africa Network Coordinator.

Steering Group The Smarter Futures Steering Group

The main dificulty it to explain the complex issue of the importance of food fortification.

Hence, we decided to produce a toolkit: http://www.smarterfutures.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/spina_version-grains-small-size.pdf

Many countries can be highlighted to illustrate the impact of mandatory flour fortification, but briefly here are a few examples. Oman was the first country to fortify flour with folic acid in 1996. When the program started, 3 per 1000 births were affected by spina bifida. By 2006, the birth prevalence was down to 0.3/1000 births (Alasfoor et al, 2010).
South Africa started to fortify flour with folic acid in October 2003. Using data obtained from 12 hospitals, researchers reported that the NTD birth prevalence dropped by 30.5% from January 2003 to June 2005 (Sayed et al, 2008).
In terms of global impact, a meta-analysis conducted in 2010 using data from multiple countries, indicated that mandatory flour fortification decreased the risk of an NTD-affected pregnancy by an average of 46% (Blencowe et al, 2010).

The initial period of this project was planned for 3 years, but it is already its 5th year of activity, showing the relevance of our work.

Attached the technical specifications:

Flour fortification with iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and zinc: Proceedings of the Second Technical Workshop on Wheat Flour Fortification

../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Wheat Flour Fortification Flour fortification with iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and zinc: Proceedings of the Second Technical Workshop on Wheat Flour Fortification