Making micronutrient powder accessible in Kenya

08 Aug 2014

Phillips Healthcare Services Limited joins the Business Call to Action 

New York/Nairobi -- Phillips Healthcare Services Limited (PHSL) announced its plan to join the Business Call to Action (BCtA). PHSL brings its expertise in providing affordable and sustainable healthcare solutions for tackling malnutrition in Kenya. The company has also announced plans to expand its pilot nutritional supplement programme to reach more than 150,000 young children with micronutrient powder by 2018. 

PHSL’s core objective is to increase the affordability and accessibility to quality healthcare products. Two pillars guide its business engagement: providing pharmaceutical supply chain services to donor-funded projects in order ensure adherence to good distribution practices; and providing affordable high-quality healthcare solutions to working poor people at the base of the economic pyramid. 

“PHSL is committed to improving nutrition for children under 5 and alleviating malnutrition and stunting, and is working towards improved health outcomes for children as part of its business model in Kenya. These efforts are important and meaningful, especially for remote communities and those living at the base of the pyramid. We are pleased to welcome them to the Business Call to Action,” said Sahba Sobhani, Acting Program Manager, Business Call to Action.

Malnutrition is a significant problem affecting 35 percent of Kenya’s population. Evidence suggests malnutrition in the first two years of life has lasting impacts on  children’s physical and cognitive impairment. Food fortification with micronutrients has been shown to be among the most cost-effective public health interventions available today. 

Multiple micronutrient powders – single-dose sachets containing multiple vitamins and minerals in powder form – can be sprinkled on and mixed into any soft or semi-solid food.

Micronutrient powder has been used in several countries worldwide for home fortification of complementary foods to improve micronutrient intake in children under 2 with demonstrated efficacy.

The intervention has its greatest impact in the first 1,000 days of life. PHSL aims to make micronutrient powder sachets available to children for 1,000 days for approximately US$80.

“We are committed to expanding our micronutrient powder programme in Kenya to help nourish and thus positively impact the health outcomes of Kenyan children so they can grow to lead healthy and productive lives, and become productive citizens when they grow up” says Dr. Grace Waiharo, Head of Operations at PHSL.

By targeting healthcare workers and creating a sustainable distribution network, PHSL aims to provide training and information on home fortification and infant and young child feeding practices with the goal of ultimately reaching 1 million malnourished children across East and Central Africa.

Contact Information

BCtA: Karen.Newman: karen.newman@undp.org  +1.212. 906-5194

PHSL: Parit.Mehta: parit.mehta@phillipsafrica.com +254 738 667717