Two community partners, Beximco Pharma and DSM, working with the Center for Human Nutrition and The Sight and Life Global Nutrition Research Institute in the department of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are among the 14th Annual Scrip Awards winners. Beximco Pharma and DSM’s work supports community-based research of the JiVitA Project aimed at reducing the health burden of micronutrient deficiencies of women and children in rural Bangladesh.
The JiVitA Project is presently one of the largest population health and nutrition intervention research projects in South Asia. Operational since 2001 in northwest rural Bangladesh, the project is dedicated to examining the critical role of micronutrient deficiency prevention in reducing mortality and morbidity and improving child development during the first 1,000 days – from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday – and beyond. Its goal is to inform and guide policies and programs through the conduct of large-scale community-based nutrition studies.
Ten years ago, Beximco Pharma produced 16 million multiple micronutrient (MM) and iron-folic acid (IFA) tablets, using a DSM vitamin and mineral premix, for a JiVitA study of 45,000 pregnant women (called JiVitA-3). The trial showed that taking a daily MM supplement throughout pregnancy offered greater health benefits over an IFA supplement alone, reducing the numbers of preterm, low birth weight and still born infants by 10-15 percdent. Currently, Beximco and DSM are once again teaming up to produce another 14 million MM supplements for a new JiVitA preconception supplementation trial among newlywed women in rural Bangladesh.
The 2018 Scrip Awards were announced on Nov. 28 during a ceremony presented by the Right Honourable Lord (William) Hague. The Community Partnership Award recognizes, for the first time, outstanding global citizenship, vision and partnership of two corporations, Beximco and DSM, working together with academia to improve maternal and child nutrition in low-middle income countries.