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    Posted March 8, 2014 by
    Dhaka, Andorra

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    National Micronutrient Survey in Bangladesh in 2011-12 revealed

    Micronutrients are essential nutrients that although are required in small amounts greatly benefit human health and nutrition. They significantly contribute to reduce morbidity, malnutrition and mortality. Vitamin A, Iron, Zinc, Iodine, Folate, Calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 are among these essential micronutrients. Deficiencies of these micronutrients can cause damage to the individual, family, and the entire nation resulting in loss of potential of productivity, education, and income and overall the national development.

    Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh and International Development Partners supported the first ever National Micronutrient Survey in Bangladesh in 2011-12. The survey results reveal that a large proportion of Bangladeshis are suffering from deficiencies of multiple micronutrients. The poor, marginalized women, food insecure and people living in slums suffer the greatest burden.

    The findings of the survey generated the need for a relevant national strategy to reduce and control micronutrient deficiencies in the country. The Institute of Public Health and Nutrition (IPHN), the lead agency for nutrition under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is leading the process on development of a National Micronutrient Deficiency Control Strategy. The IPHN has requested GAIN to take the lead on the Zinc, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Calcium strategy development process. GAIN organised a national workshop on Zinc and vitamin B12 on December 29th 2013. This present workshop will focus on Calcium and Vitamin D.

    Eminent scientists, development practitioners, social activists, national and international experts attended the workshop and provided valuable insights on the development of the national strategy that can work towards improving the nutritional status of the poor and marginalised. The workshop covered a wide range of critical factors for the success of this strategy including improving access, innovative delivery models, rights and entitlement and the need to integrate gender, equity and diversity elements into the strategy.

    “The development of national micronutrient strategy is a remarkable step which can contribute significantly in reducing malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency in Bangladesh. I appreciate the efforts of GAIN and other development partners on this process,” says Ms. Roxana Quader, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh.
    ‘The Government of Bangladesh continues to show its leadership in addressing the scourge of malnutrition. I am very happy to see this renewed commitment to develop a national strategy to reduce malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies that will benefit the poor and marginalised in the country” says Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director, GAIN.

    “National Micronutrient Deficiency Control Strategy would be an important milestone. This will be a pioneering step in eradicating malnutrition in the country.” Says, Dr. Mohammad Hedayetul Islam, Director, Institute of Public Health and Nutrition (IPHN) and Line Director, National Nutrition Service (NNS).

    This second GAIN sponsored National Micronutrient Deficiency Control Strategy Workshop is a very significant step towards reducing malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency in the country. It is ensuring that Bangladesh becomes a nutrition pioneer in the region.
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