INDIA ― The Micronutrient Initiative (MI) recently signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh, strengthening its existing partnerships to improve nutrition for vulnerable people ― especially women, adolescent girls, newborns and young children.
“We believe in investing in women, girls and children so that the present and future generations are healthy and productive. Partnering with the governments of three states that have a high burden of malnutrition gives us an opportunity to increase the impact of our work to improve the lives of millions of women, girls and young children,” said Sucharita Dutta, Country Director for MI India.
340 million people live in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, representing a quarter of India’s total population. In Uttar Pradesh, 47% of all children under five years of age are underweight, while 40% are stunted in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. On average, more than half of all pregnant women in the three states are anaemic.
The MoUs outline MI’s support to the state governments’ health and nutrition initiatives. In total, the Government of Canada, through MI, will invest 12.8 million CAD on low-cost, high-impact interventions to improve the nutrition and health of newborns, children under five years of age and adolescent girls in the three states. These efforts include:
- weekly iron and folic acid supplementation to reduce anaemia among adolescent girls
- interventions to improve the healthcare provided to mothers and babies during and immediately after birth
- improve infant and young child feeding practices in communities
- increase in fortified wheat flour to protect vulnerable communities from micronutrient deficiencies
The MoU with Madhya Pradesh was signed by MI and State Health Society, National Health Mission (Government of Madhya Pradesh) representatives in Bhopal on October 7, 2016, while representatives from MI and the National Health Mission (Government of Gujarat) signed the MoU with Gujarat in Gandhinagar on October 20, 2016. The MoU with Uttar Pradesh was signed by MI and National Health Mission (Government of Uttar Pradesh) representatives in the presence of senior officials from the Routine Immunization, Adolescent Health, Maternal Health, Child Health and Community Processes Division in Lucknow on November 30, 2016.
Read more about MI’s work in India