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Marion Roche

Technical Adviser, Micronutrient Initiative

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.
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Pregnant Women World-Wide Need Timely Access to Supplements

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.
08/18/2015 08:05 EDT
Marion Roche

New Global Focus Placed on Reducing Anemia in Adolescent Girls

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.
06/01/2015 12:18 EDT
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A Food Budget of $1.75 a Day Guarantees 'Hidden Hunger'

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.
04/23/2015 05:36 EDT
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Vitamin A Helps Reduce Death From Measles

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.
02/24/2015 01:24 EST
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A Full Belly Might Not Be a Nourished One

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. 
09/08/2014 05:19 EDT

Health Care Providers Should Think About Zinc

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...
02/27/2014 02:45 EST
Huffington Post

The Issue of Consent in Human Research

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.
11/21/2013 04:38 EST

The Fight Against Maternal and Child Undernutrition

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.
06/11/2013 12:09 EDT

Honouring Mothers With More Than Good Intentions

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.
05/15/2013 03:01 EDT

This World Health Day Bring the Right Message at the Right Time

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.
04/05/2013 10:58 EDT

Making a Difference One Mom at a Time

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...
03/07/2013 05:49 EST

Ever Heard of the Life-Saving Box?

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."
12/23/2012 12:18 EST

How Zinc Can Save Lives

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.
11/28/2012 05:48 EST