SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Sept. 25, 2019 -- Vitamin Angels, a global public health organization that connects undernourished mothers and children with essential vitamins and minerals, announced its $7.5M commitment to improve global maternal health and birth outcomes by 2022 at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Goalkeepers event in New York City today. This commitment will support a newly launched program called "Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies," which challenges leaders and organizations globally to help pregnant women around the world gain access to multiple micronutrient supplementation consistent with the UNIMMAP formula.
Vitamin Angels' full commitment includes:
- Advocacy: At least $50,000 per year for 3 years to raise awareness among national level stakeholders in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) to the benefits of MMS.
- Product Support: Incremental resources to connect at least 2.5 m, 180 count bottles of UNIMMAP–MMS over 3 years to hard-to-reach, pregnant women in LMICs through Vitamin Angels' network of field partners (including NGOs and governments).
- Technical Assistance: At least $400,000 per year for 3 years to support large healthcare systems in LMICs with the technical assistance needed to integrate UNIMMAP-MMS product into antenatal care services.
- Local Manufacturing: Sustained technical assistance to one or more manufacturers in one LMIC to enable local production of UNIMMAP–MMS.
- Collaboration with the Private Sector: Sustained collaboration with one or more corporate partners to integrate the UNIMMAP–MMS product formulation into their private label offerings, with a goal of positively affecting Vitamin Angels' cost structure for MMS procurement and distribution; while simultaneously raising awareness to the importance and proven efficacy of UNIMMAP–MMS for improving maternal health and birth outcomes.
"We are pleased to be a 2019 Goalkeepers MMS Accelerator partner," said Kristen M. Hurley, PHD, MPH, Vitamin Angels' Director of Programs. "Our pledge will help improve maternal nutrition globally by advancing policies and programs that target the provision of MMS among pregnant women."
Vitamin Angels currently deploys UNIMMAP—MMS in 50+ countries around the world and works alongside other public health and nutrition organizations such as Micronutrient Forum, Kirk Humanitarian, Johns Hopkins University, Sight & Life, and the New York Academy of the Sciences to build evidence and advance global implementation of MSS.
"Over the years we have seen the life-changing benefits that prenatal multivitamins have on undernourished pregnant women and their unborn, developing child," said Howard Schiffer, Vitamin Angels President & Founder. "We believe in a world where every mother has a healthy pregnancy and every child gets a chance at a healthy start to life. Through our Goalkeepers pledge, we are one step closer to reaching that world."
This program was announced as a Goalkeepers Accelerator at the Goalkeepers annual event in New York today. Goalkeepers Accelerators bring together partners from different sectors around common agendas for action, seeking to catalyze investments, expertise, and innovation to drive further progress towards the Global Goals.
2019 marks the third year of Goalkeepers, an initiative dedicated to accelerating progress towards the Global Goals. The Goalkeepers annual event in New York is a gathering of approximately 400 world leaders, global activists, and community changemakers, using powerful stories, data and partnerships to highlight progress achieved, hold governments accountable and bring together a new generation of leaders to address the world's major challenges.
About Vitamin Angels:
Founded in 1994, Vitamin Angels is a global public health organization working towards ending malnutrition worldwide by distributing life-changing vitamins and minerals to at-risk mothers and children under five in the U.S. and around the world. In 2019, Vitamin Angels will provide vitamins and minerals to over 70 million mothers and children in more than 70 countries, including in the U.S. Both Charity Navigator and GuideStar give Vitamin Angels their highest marks for financial transparency. To learn more, visit www.vitaminangels.org.
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