28 April 2023 – The Healthy Mothers Health Babies (HMHB) Consortium warmly welcomes a new partnership that will support countless mothers across Southeast Asia. US-based family foundation, Kirk Humanitarian has teamed up with Dexa Medica, a pharmaceutical company based in Indonesia, to increase the availability of multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS). The partnership will expand the production and availability of the United Nations International Multiple Micronutrient Antenatal Preparation (UNIMMAP)-MMS, a globally recognized formula recently added to the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines.
MMS is an efficacious, safe, and cost-effective intervention that has been proven to enhance maternal nutrition and reduce the risk of adverse birth outcomes, such as preterm birth, stillbirth, low birth weight, and small for gestational age. HMHB calls upon partners to invest in evidence-based and cost-effective interventions and support the transition from iron-folic acid (IFA) supplements to MMS.
Under this manufacturing agreement, Dexa Medica will produce 270 million doses of UNIMMAP MMS over the next three years, supporting maternal and child health. This will prevent the deaths of an additional 8,616 children in Indonesia alone.
Kirk Humanitarian actively supports mothers across low-and-middle-income countries and is committed to donating 1.8 billion doses of UNIMMAP MMS in emergency settings by 2023 and supporting governments transitioning from IFA supplements to MMS. According to a recent supply strategy resource paper, without action to increase MMS supplies within the next two years, the projected supply of MMS is estimated to support just 30 million pregnancies by 2030, less than one-third of the projected demand. So far, over 90% of MMS is produced by companies in the US or Europe.
In close collaboration with many of HMHB partners, more countries are considering the implementation of MMS to improve maternal health and birth outcomes for millions of mothers and babies, following the inclusion of the UNIMMAP-MMS formulation into the WHO Essential Medicine’s List.
Looking forward, nations who prioritize maternal nutrition and MMS are investing in the human capital of their populations by preventing economic losses related to diminished learning and future economic productivity. As mentioned in a recent DEVEX op-ed, investing in mothers is investing in the future of nations.