Validating the Effectiveness of a Culturally Appropriate Iron Supplement in Increasing Adherence and Reducing Iron Deficiency Anemia in Pregnant Women and Associated Maternal and Perinatal Mortality/Morbidity

Organization: 
Violet Health, Inc.
Organization Location: 
New York, New York, USA

This innovation addresses iron deficiency anemia, a leading global cause of maternal/perinatal mortality, preterm births, low birth weight, and child cognitive and motor skills impairment. In India, 60% of pregnant women are anemic. Worldwide, over 40% of pregnant women are anemic. A key challenge in low resource settings is the vast majority of pregnant women who have iron pills don’t take them, greatly increasing poor birth outcomes. In India, only 35% of women who have access to iron pills take them during pregnancy. Guided by qualitative/quantitative research along with consumers and stakeholders, Violet Health, Inc. has created a culturally appropriate, iron and folic acid fortified biscuit that meets a pregnant woman’s daily needs and addresses reasons for non­-adherence to the iron pill. This innovation lies in a rapidly scalable approach that integrates nutrition technology and behavioral science with demand creation among pregnant women to dramatically shift attitudes towards iron supplementation and increase adherence. Violet Health, Inc. proposes validating the product’s effectiveness within existing Indian government infrastructure through pilot studies with Primary Health and Anganwadi Centres. They expect the fortified biscuit to increase adherence, decrease anemia, and achieve healthier birth outcomes for mother and child. A successful validation trial would position the biscuit to scale among the 11 million pregnant women in India yearly who have access to status quo iron tablets but are non­-adherent.