Saving Lives at Birth: Quadruple Fortified Salt: An Efficient and Scaleable Vehicle for Simultaneous Delivery of Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 and Iodine in Low Resource Settings

Organization: 
Governing Council of the University of Toronto
Organization Location: 
Toronto, Canada

Insufficient iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 in the diet is a major contributor to maternal, neonatal and infant deaths, and leads to thwarted development, low work capacity and immunity (iron), birth defects (folic acid) and pernicious anemia. Iodine deficiency diseases can be successfully addressed by salt iodization. Quadruple fortification of salt (QFS) is a comprehensive food fortification strategy that can effectively prevent damage caused by these related deficiencies. While the long-term program objective is to prevent up to a third of maternal and infant deaths throughout the developing world at an annual cost of ≤ $ 0.20 per person through salt fortification transparent to the consumer, this proposal will validate the technology developed during the current seed program. The technology will be scaled through pilot scale to full commercial scale, and the economics of the process will be defined, and the acceptability of QFS by the affected – rural poor – population, and its effectiveness and efficacy will be demonstrated on a statistically significant scale. The complete technology and health package will be used to approach industry, government and NGOs in preparation of assembling a large-scale demonstration program involving several million participants. QFS can be introduced using equipment already in place for salt double fortification and requires no changes in social and religious customs to reach all at-risk consumers independently of socioeconomic status.