Event: Profitable Protections: The Business Advantage of Industrial Food Fortification Compliance and Workforce Nutrition

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Posted Mon, Dec 4, 2023 7:58 AM

Timeframe: Tue, Dec 12, 2023 12:00 PM - Tue, Dec 12, 2023 3:00 PM

Nigeria has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world. Recent data shows that 44% of children under five have chronic, longstanding malnutrition and are too short for their age, while 11% have acute malnutrition (Govender I, 2021). Yet, the prevalence of vitamin and mineral (micronutrient) deficiencies is higher than the prevalence of these visible forms of malnutrition. Micronutrient deficiencies are referred to as “hidden hunger” because there are usually no observable signs to indicate those affected by them. In Nigeria, 42% of children 6–59 months have Vitamin A deficiency, and 21% of the population is at risk of zinc deficiency. Anaemia, primarily caused by iron deficiency, occurs in 71% of children 6–59 months old, 47% of nonpregnant women 15–49 years old, and 58% of pregnant women 15–49 years old (Businge CB, 2021). Globally, Nigeria ranks 4th among countries that have a high number of women affected by anaemia, and the public health burden of micronutrient deficiencies is severe (Azinge IE, 2023). Hence, there is a strong case for strategic interventions to address these micronutrient deficiencies (MNDs).

Food fortification to control MND has been implemented in Nigeria for nearly three decades. Salt iodization was made mandatory in 1992, and by 2005, coverage of iodized salt reached 98%, and rates of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) decreased dramatically. Recent surveys (Businge CB, 2021) continue to show coverage greater than 90%, and IDD and iodine nutrition status remain adequate (Harika R, 2017). Due to the high economic burden of MND and relatively low cost of adding vitamins and minerals, economists have concluded that fortification is among the most cost-effective investments in national economic development. Presuming fortification can lower the $1.5billion in annual losses from MND in Nigeria by 25-50%, this suggests $375-750 million annually in economic returns. For every $1 invested, Nigeria can expect a $7-$14 return in the annual value of decreased mortality and morbidity, lower healthcare costs, and higher productivity.

 

The objectives of this webinar are:

● Secure buy-in of private sector CEOs of food manufacturing companies towards collaboration and cooperation on improving LSFF and workforce nutrition in Nigeria.

● Provide broad technical reviews and expert validations for adopting and sustaining industrial food fortification and workforce nutrition.

● Curate various challenges companies face, share knowledge and experiences, and brainstorm innovative ways to make better decisions regarding industrial fortification and workforce nutrition through a roundtable discussion.

● Provide broad technical reviews and expert validations on workforce nutrition pillars and Industrial food fortification compliance.

● Curate and reestablish the business benefits of Industrial food fortification compliance and workforce nutrition in improving employer and employee relations

● Secure commitment statements of CEOs to LSFF compliance, data sharing, transparency, and accountability.

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