Scaling up the Lucky Iron Fish™: a low-cost, innovative solution to iron deficiency saving lives of women and children in urban Cambodia.

Lucky Iron Fish Inc.
Organization Location: 
Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Infant, children and maternal mortality rates in Cambodia are among the worst in South-East Asia and 45% of children are stunted. Iron deficiency plays a significant role in these statistics but current methods of treatment for the condition are not effective: compliance rates are low and the overall impact small. Infection with HIV compounds these health challenges. The project will scale-up distribution of the Lucky Iron Fish™: an innovative, affordable, and clinically-proven solution to iron deficiency. The fish have a compliance rate of 90% and reduce the prevalence of iron deficiency by ~50%. We will integrate business, health care and university-based expertise to create a different service delivery and carry out research into the impact of the fish on iron status in women with HIV. We will promote an integrated approach that will change service delivery to some of the poorest people in urban areas including HIV positive women. Our primary objectives are to improve the health status of 70,000 women and children in urban Cambodia with ~50% reduction in the prevalence of anemia in four years; collect evidence on impact particularly for women infected with HIV to inform public policy about potentially more effective treatments for iron deficiency; and provide long-term improvements in diagnostic facilities for the hospital partner. If successful the project is scalable to other jurisdictions.

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