Market based home fortification - the Bangladesh micronutrient powder programme

In Bangladesh, BRAC one of the largest development organisations in the world, has a large network of community health workers with reach into all parts of the country. BRAC uses this network to deliver multiple micronutrient powders to address anaemia in children under 2.

In addition, the Social Marketing Company (SMC), the largest Social Enterprise globally uses local service providers and entrepreneurial model to address micronutrient malnutrition using multiple micronutrient powders with complementary food.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends home fortification of foods with multiple micronutrient powders (MNP) to improve micronutrient status and address high prevalence of anaemia among children under 2 years of age.4 The provision of free MNPs through the health system is not necessarily sustainable. The question was, can MNPs be sold at an affordable price such that they have a significant impact on under 2 anaemia? If this is possible, what is the cost-effectiveness of doing so?

GAIN, BRAC, SMC, Renata, a Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals company, icddr,b and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), set out to evaluate whether such a programme could reach those who are vulnerable, whether they were impactful and whether they were good value for money compared to other routes to improved nutrition outcomes.