MEDA project puts vitamins in cooking oil to improve child health

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Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), the University of Waterloo, and Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania just launched a two-and-a-half-year project aimed at reducing Vitamin A deficiency using fortified foods. In Tanzania, about a third of all children under five and women under 50 suffer from Vitamin A deficiency. “This initiative works with local processors to crush locally grown sunflower seed and produce Vitamin A sunflower oil to address local micronutrient deficiencies,” said Thom Dixon, MEDA’s business of health director. “In many rural areas, diets are lacking in basic micronutrients needed to build strong immune systems and fight disease, and Vitamin A is a particular challenge in selected regions of our country,” said Theobald Mosha, professor of nutrition at Sokoine University. To promote the new fortified oil, an innovative electronic voucher developed in Canada will deliver targeted subsidies to people in targeted communities and help foster demand. —MEDA

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