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Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation

More than 20 years of research 1,2 have provided clear evidence that MMS is efficacious, safe, cost-effective, and affordable.

Multiple Micronutrient Supplements (MMS) is an antenatal supplement for pregnant women that is proven to enhance maternal nutrition status and, in comparison with IFA, further reduces the risk of adverse birth outcomes such as preterm birth, stillbirth, low birth weight, and small for gestational age. As a result, long-lasting human capital losses in educational years and lifetime income will be prevented.

Scaling up programs that deliver MMS to vulnerable mothers is now an urgent priority that requires efficient supply chain systems and building awareness of its positive health benefits among mothers, communities, and maternal health providers.

 

What is Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation?

Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation (MMS) is a tablet that women can take during pregnancy to provide the right amounts of 15 vitamins and minerals that mothers and their unborn babies need to fight disease, and support proper fetal and child growth and development, and other important metabolic functions.

 

 

*United Nations International Multiple Micronutrient Antenatal Preparation – WHO, UNICEF, United Nations University. Composition of a multi-micronutrient supplement to be used in pilot programmes among pregnant women in developing countries.

 

What Does the Evidence Show?

There is clear and consistent evidence from clinical trials that MMS provides additional benefits over IFAS in reducing adverse pregnancy outcomes

Compared to iron and folic acid supplements (IFAS) alone, MMS can [3, 4, 5]

  • Reduce the number of infants born with low birth weight (LBW) by 12%
  • Reduce preterm births by 4 to 8%
  • Reduce the number of small for gestational age (SGA) newborn infants by 3 to 8%
  • Reduce the number of stillbirths by 5%
  • Reduce the overall 6-month infant mortality by 7%

 

 

Transitioning from IFAS to MMS is highly cost-effective [6,7]. A tool to aid countries’ decision-making, developed by Nutrition International, uses a rigorous methodology to calculate the incremental benefits and costs of transitioning from IFAS to MMS and has data available for 32 countries.