Marion Roche, PhD, is the Technical Adviser in Behaviour Change Communication at the Micronutrient Initiative in Ottawa, Canada. The Micronutrient Initiative undertakes its work with the support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency. Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada.
October 8 is World Sight Day. As I reflect on World Sight Day 2015's call to action: "Eye care for all", I'm struck by how much Canadians have already contributed towards one key aspect of eye care -- preventing blindness.
As IFA interventions are reprioritized as part of maternal health initiatives, the composition of the supplement itself is being reconsidered. Pregnant women may benefit from more than just iron and folic acid supplements, as the diets and environments that have put them at risk of anemia may also be contributing to suboptimal intakes of other micronutrients. For example, millions of pregnant women suffer from vitamin A deficiency, zinc, and iodine, suggesting supplements could help fill the dietary gaps at the same time.
Reducing anemia in adolescents is often motivated by efforts and interests to improve maternal and newborn health for pregnant adolescents. However, when we truly understand the consequences of anemia throughout a woman's life, the benefits of reducing it to improve adolescent school performance and productivity at work cannot be ignored.
Hidden hunger is the type of hunger where the belly is full but the body is still hungry for nutrition. Poverty and nutrition are two sides of the same coin. Poverty often determines food choices. Although it is possible to make choices of what foods to buy on a limited budget, many nutritious foods are simply not affordable or accessible.
Just over half of us on this planet are either women or will someday grow up to be women. On March 8, International Women's Day, I would like to celebrate how micro-nutrient interventions have the potential to enable women to continue to be strong, brilliant and safe.
WHO recommends vitamin A supplements to improve child survival. Vitamin A supplements have been shown to reduce the number of deaths from measles by 50 per cent, in populations with vitamin A deficiency. For children who are vitamin A deficient or undernourished, it would seem a simple solution -- immunization against measles and better nutrition -- to save lives.
Good nutrition is one of the best gifts a caregiver can give a young child. The same is true for caregivers around world, especially in places where food quality and quantity are an issue. Imagine the worries for caregivers in a context where healthy foods are not available, just not affordable or extremely time consuming to prepare, with lack of access to clean water.
Along with the global effort to scale up zinc and oral rehydration salts (ORS) in the treatment of diarrhoea, we need effective training materials for health care professionals to introduce them to ho...
While the understanding of individual rights merges well with the idea behind consent for human research, this can become very complicated when doing research in countries where vulnerable populations may not be as well informed of their rights as we are in Canada.
In January 2008, The Lancet, the world's leading medical journal, published its ground breaking series on maternal and child nutrition, which successfully identified to the world the damaging effects of undernutrition. We know that much has been accomplished to reduce the burden from undernutrition in the past five years; however, our work is far from over.
For Rosario, listening to people and involving them in the initiatives that they identify as important is a given when you see people as the key agents of change in their own lives. This is something she learned to do many years ago.
April 7 is World Health Day, a celebration of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). Sometimes in our day-to-day public health work, the way we deliver messages can create more obstacles than we realize. Changing behaviour does not come easily to anyone and a behaviour change project requires great insight into people's lives to understand the barriers to change.
The first week in February in Canada was International Development Week, which explores and celebrates how Canada and Canadians are contributing to building stronger families and communities in less d...
My project has its roots with my colleagues at the Guatemalan Ministry of Health who, after the initial success in the roll-out of the zinc and oral rehydration salts (ORS) treatment program for diarrhea, started thinking of ways to improve the program and its potential impact. They had the initial idea for what's become the cajita salvavida or "Life-saving Box."
Recent advances in micronutrient nutrition have given hope in the management of diarrhea. Using zinc, along ORS, not only helps children get better faster, it can prevent future episodes and even save their lives. This combined treatment costs as little at 50 cents per episode.