In response to emergencies, such as the earthquake and tsunami in 2004, relief efforts were initiated from January 2005 to May 2006 to prevent further loss of life from disease and malnutrition. Since malnutrition including vitamin and mineral deficiencies have been linked to increased risk of infection and to about 50% of childhood deaths, it is vital to provide foods adequate in essential vitamins and minerals to the vulnerable population groups such as young children. Helen Keller International (HKI) and partners initiated the Supplementation with Micronutrients program to provide Vitalita Sprinkles, as well as vitamin A capsules, zinc tablets, and iron fortified soy sauce. Distribution through HKI, the Ministry of Health, and international and local NGOs facilitated the largest distribution program of Vitalita Sprinkles.
To prevent micronutrient deficiencies in children affected by food insecurity caused by natural disasters.
Distribution of Vitalita Sprinkles as part of emergency relief and transition programming is feasible.
Explicit instructions need to be given the first time someone receives the product to increase chances of acceptance.
The prevalence of anemia was 25% less in children taking Vitalita Sprinkles.
The percentage of children 6-59 months, who had consumed Vitalita Sprinkles, varied between 32-70% depending on the district.