Double-fortified salt takes on two of the world’s leading micronutrient deficiencies by adding both iron and iodine to salt. While seemingly a simple idea, fortifying salt with more than one micronutrient is complex; but the hope of boosting the health of an estimated two billion people suffering from iron deficiency anaemia is providing the motivation.
The Indian government is promoting the use of fortification in its social protection programs and recommends food fortification as a strategy to improve nutrition through existing government nutrition programs. Salt is already part of the package of support in the Below Poverty Line program and thus an opportunity for wide reach. The Food Safety Standards Authority of India created revised standards for Double Fortified Salt (DFS) in December 2015 in order to accommodate two iron components: Ferrous Sulphate and Encapsulated Ferrous Fumarate. The addition of either of these two compounds does not affect the bio-availability of iodine.
To reduce the prevalence of anaemia in women of reproductive stage, the Government of Madhya Pradesh has decided to supply one kilogram of double fortified salt in 89 tribal blocks in 20 districts of the State. NI is supporting the government with the procurement of DFS and is also undertaking an impact evaluation of the program.
These activities are being implemented in partnership with Government Departments of Health and Family Welfare, Food and Civil Supplies Department, Divisional administration and District administrations of the five Nutrition International program districts and partners like TATA Trusts and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). Investments related to DFS research and technology has been ongoing for more than 15 years. This current program is being funded from 2015 to 2020.
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