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Support for MMS in WHO’s Latest Essential Medicines List

22 April 2021 –  Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation (MMS) is a proven, cost-effective and safe intervention to improve maternal and child health, particularly in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). However, it is not available and accessible to women who need it the most. This is largely due to challenges in the supply chain, additional costs incurred in manufacturing of MMS and lack of awareness about its health benefits among antenatal health care providers.

Inclusion of MMS into EML

The World Health Organization (WHO) publishes a WHO Model List of Essential Medicines or Essential Medicines List (EML) that contains medicines that are most effective and safe to meet the needs of the health system. This list updated every two years and is used by member countries as a guideline to develop their own EML. Currently, MMS is not included in this list.

Including MMS into WHO’s EML would motivate countries worldwide to include it in their national EML. This would facilitate smooth integration of MMS into their health systems and support its delivery to the most vulnerable mothers.

Call for Collective Action

The MMS Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and Micronutrient Forum (MNF) have submitted an application  to WHO to consider including MMS in their list of Essential Medicines (EML). Country authorities and global experts in the field of maternal and child nutrition can express their support to this application during its public consultation period to the WHO Expert Committee using this short guidance document. The deadline for submission is 21 May 2021.

Your letter of support would boost the efforts to provide access to essential micronutrients to pregnant women worldwide and help newborns thrive.