In collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, ECF supported an analysis to identify the most impactful and cost effective ways to reduce nutrition-related mortality through the scaling up of priority high-impact nutrition interventions. These interventions were previously highlighted by the Lancet and the World Bank due to their scalable, life-saving potential. Researchers found that by scaling up the Power 4 (wasting treatment, multiple micronutrient supplementation during pregnancy, vitamin A supplementation, and breastfeeding promotion) in high-burden countries, we have the potential to save millions of lives.
In the above video, ECF grantee 1,000 Days shows what the Power 4 could do for a child like Rashna.
These simple, medicinal interventions start during pregnancy with a mother’s use of multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS), a special form of prenatal vitamins consisting of 15 important vitamins and minerals, which reduce the odds of infant death and postnatal mortality and increase maternal nutritional status. After birth, exclusive breastfeeding for six months further increases a child’s chances of survival – supporting strong immune responses from infancy through adulthood. Children like Rashna also benefit from receiving vitamin A supplementation (VAS) drops twice a year from when they are six months to fifty-nine months old. These low-cost drops minimize a child’s risk of both blindness and mortality. And when all else fails, the final Power 4 intervention is there to help children on the brink of death. Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) consists of nutrition-dense medicinal food that can be used in community-based care. Scaling up these four interventions would ensure that millions of children like Rashna have bright futures beyond their first thousand days.
Image 1 – © UNICEF/FRANK DEJONGH