Vitamin Angels issues invitation for collaboration after WHO adds MMS to Model List of Essential Medicines

By Quinn Harvey

On October 1, the World Health Organization announced their decision to include UNIMMAP formulated multiple micronutrient supplements (UNIMMAP MMS) in their Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) as an antenatal supplement for pregnant women. This decision by the WHO marks an important milestone in advancing maternal and child health globally.

The inclusion of MMS in the EML will continue to generate new conversations around this intervention and Vitamin Angels would like to extend an invitation for collaboration to any groups looking to learn more about introducing and scaling MMS within their local contexts.

As an evidence-based public health organization, we are committed to working with governments, NGOs, academia, and other stakeholders to increase access to this safe, proven, affordable, and cost-effective nutrition intervention for pregnant women around the world. Vitamin Angels has dedicated the past three years to expanding our own UNIMMAP MMS program through our global network of implementing partners, and supporting national stakeholders with an implementation science-based approach to introduce and scale MMS programs within their own healthcare systems.

What kind of collaboration can Vitamin Angels offer to advance the adoption of MMS?

Advocacy: We work with partners at the global, regional, and national levels to foster an enabling environment for the effective implementation of UNIMMAP MMS. This includes:

  • Sharing information, raising awareness, and building consensus around the latest research and policy recommendations related to MMS
  • Working with decisionmakers and other stakeholders to ensure MMS and other evidence-based nutrition policies and programs are broadly supported, sufficiently funded, and effectively implemented
  • Participating in global initiatives, like the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies consortium, to collaborate with and support leaders and organizations around the world to help pregnant women gain access to MMS

Technical Assistance: We support governments and other national stakeholders interested in integrating UNIMMAP MMS into their national antenatal care system. This includes:

  • Assessing country readiness to introduce MMS by examining barriers and enablers related to supply, demand, and delivery
  • Identifying barriers to effective implementation and helping to co-design solutions to improve implementation outcomes
  • Supporting the dissemination of findings and communication plans that result in commitment and action by key decisionmakers throughout the healthcare system

Supply: We provide supplies of MMS to government and civil society partners reaching underserved pregnant women. Donations of an MMS supply from Vitamin Angels are:

  • Formulated in accordance with the United Nations International Multiple Micronutrient Antenatal Preparation (UNIMMAP), which contains 15 vitamins and minerals, including iron and folic acid (IFA)
  • Manufactured consistent with Expert Consensus Technical Specifications for UNIMMAP – MMS
  • Produced to internationally recognized quality and cGMP standards

If your group would like to collaborate with Vitamin Angels to advance adoption of MMS for pregnant women, please contact [email protected]

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