Micronutrient malnutrition affects approximately 2 billion people worldwide. The adverse effects of micronutrient deficiencies are profound and include premature death, poor health, blindness, growth stunting, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and low work capacity. Preventing Micronutrient Deficiencies provides a conceptual framework based on past experience that will allow funders to tailor programs to existing regional/country capabilities and to incorporate within these programs the capacity to address multiple strategies (i.e., supplementation/fortification/food-based approaches/public health measures) and multiple micronutrient deficiencies.
The book does not offer recommendations on how to alleviate specific micronutrient deficiencies--such recommendations are already available through the publications of diverse organizations, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Micronutrient Initiative, World Bank, United Nations Childrens' Fund, and the World Health Organization. Instead, this volume examines key elements in the design and implementation of micronutrient interventions, including such issues as:
The importance of iron, vitamin A, and iodine to health. Populations at risk for micronutrient deficiency. Options for successful interventions and their cost. The feasibility of involving societal sectors in the planning and implementation of interventions. Characteristics of successful interventions.
The book also contains three in-depth background papers that address the prevention of deficiencies of iron, vitamin A, and iodine.