Fortify is launching Maternal Health May! Every dollar donated helps bring more iron-fortified foods to women suffering from iron deficiency, a major underlying cause of maternal deaths in developing nations.
While at the University of Chicago, Fortify’s Founder, Nancy Martin, conducted research analyzing data on variables affecting maternal health outcomes in the developing world, and existing nutritional interventions. That research revealed a few important facts: 1) iron deficiency anemia is the largest public health disorder in the world, 2) more women die from causes related to iron deficiency anemia during childbirth than of any other cause, and 3) no existing interventions were successful in addressing the special iron needs of women.
Fortify's mission is to reduce the incidence of iron deficiency anemia by tapping into the power of the marketplace to get the most commonly consumed, healthy foods fortified with iron.
Rates of iron deficiency anemia are highest in least developed countries, yet most of those nations' nutritional strategies do not address the problem directly. Current diets lack meat and the diversity of foods capable of replenishing the iron stores depleted by menstruation, childbirth, and complications of disease. Food fortification works and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), food-based approaches represent the most desirable and sustainable method of preventing micronutrient malnutrition.
Fortify adopts successful fortification methods that have been used in industrialized countries since the 1950's, and applies them to affordable, healthy foods preferred by those living in developing regions of the world– no behavior changes needed. In West Africa, that’s tomato paste. Funding will support Fortify’s ability to scale this work.
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