PHC was thrilled to begin the new year with the unofficial launch of Zimbabwe’s online Health Management Information System adapted to track fortification compliance using PHC’s monitoring tool indicators. Zimbabwe will share their progress and plans for fortification monitoring using this system at a regional East, Central, and Southern Africa meeting this month. While playing an imperative role for Zimbabwe’s program, we also hope that this innovative process will serve as an example for the region around an area that needs great global attention.
In Rwanda, we continue to advocate for the passage of a Ministerial Instruction that will mandate fortification for a period of three years as we await signing of the Presidential Decree. The Instruction will serve to fast-track industry’s participation in the program and, subsequently, the availability of fortified products on the market.
With Burundi’s mandatory production requirements in full effect this month, all large-scale wheat flour producers and half of maize flour and cooking oil producers are ready to begin production significantly increasing the amount of fortified food available to the population. The Bureau of Standards will attend a regional workshop this month with PHC to identify key constraints and propose realistic solutions around program monitoring to ensure fortified products actually contain the correct amount of nutrients needed to have optimal nutritional impact.
Finally, our small-scale fortification efforts continue to provide fortified flour to over 250,000 people in Tanzania, as well as in Rwanda, Kenya and Malawi. Despite the fact that our millers are voluntarily fortifying in Tanzania, a miller payback rate of 80% has been maintained with over three-quarters of millers ordering premix three or more times. Focus has been placed on 1) partnering with local government to increase advocacy at the rural clinic level, and 2) scaling the program, with an additional 30 dosifiers to be installed in February.
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