Celebrating and Equipping Progress Through Partnerships
02 December 2014 - 03 December 2014
Location: Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
Participants at this meeting celebrated the tremendous progress African countries have made in fortifying industrially milled wheat flour and maize flour. In 2004, only two countries (South Africa and Nigeria) had legislation that required fortification of industrially milled wheat flour. Ten years later, 24 countries have such legislation, and six of those countries also require fortification of industrially milled maize.
In addition, at least half the wheat flour in three countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, and Namibia) is fortified through voluntary efforts. Download a map illustrating this progress.
The program included a presentation from Dr. Graham Fieggen, a paediatric neurosurgeon who discussed the severe consequences of neural tube defects (NTDs). Most of these birth defects can be prevented if women have at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day before they conceive. He recommended mandatory food fortification as the means of increasing a population's folic acid intake because compliance with the recommendation to take folic acid supplements is generally very low.
The program also included an introduction to new tools for:
- Using FORTIMAS for monitoring fortification programs
- Developing a communications campaign
- Estimating fortification's costs and economic benefits
- Simplifying premix procurement and building sustainable supplies
See the complete meeting report.
See news from an awards ceremony and quotes from speakers in the FFI newsletter.
See more photos on Flickr.
About 125 participants included government representatives from 22 countries, 12 milling executives from eight countries, and 35 representatives from partners, including United Nations organizations, industries, non-governmental organizations, and others.
See the participant list.
- Spina bifida - Early management and long-term care - Presented by Graham Fieggen, paediatric neurosurgeon, Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital and Professor and Head, Division of Neurosurgeon, University of Cape Town
- Public-Private Partnership in Support of Food Fortification in West Africa - Presented by Fred Grant, Regional Nutrition Advisor with Helen Keller International
- FORTIMAS: Fortification monitoring and surveillance - Presented by Anna Verster, Smarter Futures Senior Advisor
- Developing a communications campaign for mandatory fortification - Presented by Sarah Zimmerman, FFI Communications Coordinator
- Estimating fortification's costs and economic benefits - Presented by Quentin Johnson, FFI Training and Technical Support Coordinator
- Simplifying premix procurement and ensuring sustainable supplies - Presented by Greg Garrett, Director, Large-scale Food Fortification, GAIN
The program was organized by Smarter Futures, a partnership for Africa of the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, AkzoNobel, Helen Keller International, the Government of the Netherlands, and the Food Fortification Initiative. Other fortification partners, including the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the Micronutrient Initiative (MI) sponsored participants to attend the meeting.