The Power 4: Interventions that Will Save Lives

The Power 4 analysis conducted by Johns Hopkins University identified the four most impactful and cost-effective ways to reduce childhood mortality due to malnutrition.

Kendall Lorenzen

What are the Power 4 Interventions?

  • Prenatal vitamins for pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding support for mothers
  • Vitamin A supplementation (VAS)
  • Ready-to-use therapeutic food for treatment of wasting

High-Impact Malnutrition Interventions to Reduce Child Mortality

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 malnutrition 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 (prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, breastfeeding promotion, vitamin A supplementation, and wasting treatment) in high-burden countries, there is a strong 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. 

Prenatal Vitamins for Pregnant Women

These simple, medicinal interventions start during pregnancy with a mother’s use of multiple micronutrient supplementation, a special form of prenatal vitamins consisting of 15 important vitamins and minerals that reduce the odds of infant death and postnatal mortality and increase maternal nutritional status. 

Breastfeeding Support for Mothers

After birth, exclusive breastfeeding for six months further increases a child’s chances of survival – supporting strong immune responses from infancy through adulthood. Women who would like to breastfeed often cannot access the support and information they need to meet their breastfeeding goals. Skilled breastfeeding counseling can help mothers succeed and protect vulnerable infants from becoming malnourished.

Vitamin A Supplementation

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

Ready-to-Use therapeutic food 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.




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