Optimal nutrition during the first two years of life greatly lowers mortality and the risk of chronic disease later in life, but over 69% of all Kenyan children under five suffer from iron-deficiency anemia, and 84% of these children are deficient in Vitamin A. Micronutrient powders, or MNPs, are an effective way to combat nutrient deficiencies in children.
In 2012, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) joined forces with the Kenyan Ministry of Health (MoH), three private sector companies, two major international aid organizations and one NGO to increase the production and distribution of MNP sachets. This would be a highly ambitious hybrid institutional-commercial model for the production, distribution and sale of MNPs under the brand “MixMe,” with the goal of distributing 120.5 million sachets to 650,000 children within two years. Working closely with the Ministry of Health, GAIN engaged an extensive coalition of partners to produce, package, and distribute MixMe locally.
This case study describes the approach taken and highlights the challenges, opportunities and lessons learned.