The Nutrient Gap Initiative
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Health is a human right. But depending on the circumstances a person is born into, they may not have access to the everyday health solutions they need. Without this most basic care, their future is uncertain.
We’re working to change that.
A Healthy Start
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are a major public health problem in underserved communities, with women and children being particularly vulnerable. Deficiencies in iron, B12, folic acid, Vitamin C, and other essential micronutrients can lead to reduced immunity, fatigue and impaired physical and mental growth.
The consequences of vitamin and mineral deficiencies worsen gradually over time, resulting in an increased potential risk of significant health consequences across the lifespan, which ultimately exacerbates the cycle of poverty.
As part of Bayer’s sustainability commitment to expand access to everyday health for people in underserved communities, The Nutrient Gap Initiative is our effort to enable access to vitamins and minerals to underserved communities. Our goal is to reach 50 million people per year by 2030.
Through intervention, education and advocacy, we can begin to reverse the cycle of malnutrition — helping people grow properly, raise healthier families and lead better lives.
Intervention, Education and Advocacy
We are adapting our portfolio of nutritionals to be more available, accessible and affordable to people in underserved communities.
By reviewing specific health needs in underserved communities we are planning to adapt formula, packaging, go-to-market and communication to help bring our trusted products to those who need it most.
Additionally, we’re establishing a number of strategic partnerships with reputable NGOs to help us reach more underserved moms-to-be and their babies with daily Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation (MMS) intervention. These supplements are composed of a formulation of essential vitamins and minerals that women need to help ensure their own health, a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy start for their baby.
We are also working to encourage the inclusion of this prenatal intervention into regular local antenatal health services to help improve health for babies during the crucial period in the womb through their second birthday.
Interventions have already started across all continents (not including Antarctica), in more than 25 countries and will continue to expand in years to come.
Many underserved communities lack access to fundamental vitamins and minerals because of poverty and food insecurity. It is critical to provide healthcare professionals, community health workers and individuals in underserved communities with the right information to understand the role of vitamins and minerals in a healthy diet, as well as the risk of deficiencies.
When individuals understand how important nutrition and micronutrients are, they are empowered to make science-based decisions that transform their and their family’s health for generations.
To advance the adoption of prenatal supplements specifically, we’re working with Vitamin Angels to develop a nutrition education curriculum to empower healthcare professionals and moms-to-be in underserved communities.
We use our scale and position in the industry to engage with public, private and NGO partners to advocate for better access to essential vitamins and minerals. From informing policy priorities to building the value chain to delivering micronutrients, we are transforming the ecosystem and keeping with our vision of, “Health for All, Hunger for None.”
We are working with partners across public, private and NGO sectors to foster a cross-industry collaboration in support of the global movement around maternal health. The goal is to drive collective action and open access to MMS.
Some of Our Partners and Programs
Vitamin Angels is a public health nutrition organization working to improve health and economic equity by increasing access to nutrition interventions for underserved pregnant women and children globally. Through our partnership, we will reach up to 4 million pregnant women and their babies annually with multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS, or prenatal supplements) as well as co-create a curriculum on the value of prenatal supplements geared towards healthcare providers and community health workers.
Mercy Corps Indonesia is a local organization based in Jakarta, which aims to empower Indonesians to build healthy, productive and resilient communities. Mercy Corps Indonesia helps communities recover from the crises they face and turn them into opportunities to improve quality of life. Our collaboration will empower 12,400 people in urban areas of Indonesia to rebuild their communities during and after the COVID-19 crisis. This includes vital education and information to families focused nutrition and COVID-19 risk prevention.
reach52 is a tech social enterprise delivering health services in markets others don’t reach. Their ambition is to connect the 52% of the planet lacking access to healthcare to the affordable health products and services they need — enabled by their reach52 access health tech platform. Through our collaboration in Kenya, we will leverage the reach52 access platform to train 1,600 healthcare workers, conduct population risk assessments, run screening and health promotion campaigns and increase access to low and no-cost nutritional products and supplements.