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Advocacy in Micronutrient Programs. Dr. Azza Gohar Training Unit National Nutrition Institute Egypt. Micronutrient Deficiencies. Among the Most Prevalent Health Problems Worldwide Yet Programs may have the least Success achieved Enthusiasm directed at solutions. Why ?.

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advocacy in micronutrient programs

Advocacy in Micronutrient Programs

Dr. Azza Gohar

Training Unit

National Nutrition Institute


micronutrient deficiencies
Micronutrient Deficiencies

Among the Most Prevalent Health Problems Worldwide


Programs may have the least

  • Success achieved
  • Enthusiasm directed at solutions

Why ?

Micronutrient deficiencies

  • Don’t always have easily noticeable symptoms & warning signs
  • May remain unrecognized despite their devastating impact
  • May not be viewed as a priority
common communication goals
Common Communication Goals

Most Health/Nutrition Programs

  • Build Concern for Problem
  • Motivate Action
  • Sustain the Solution

Not Only End Beneficiaries

But Also

  • Government Decision/policy-makers
  • NGO Partners
  • Medical Community
  • Religious Leaders
  • Industry
  • Mass Media
  • Other Professional groups
we need them to be
We Need Them To Be….
  • Aware there is a problem
  • Know how to solve it
  • Convinced there is a benefit in doing so
  • Convinced that it is feasible
communication strategy
Communication Strategy

In order To Succeed & have

Sustained impact

Needs more

Positive reinforcement



general steps for advocacy in health programs
General Steps for Advocacy in Health Programs
  • Confirm that the problem exists (prevalence)
  • Define the Impact of the problem (individual/national)
  • Show that the Chosen approach is a proven and tested solution for this problem (experiences)
  • Describe the potential benefits and cost-effectiveness (Communicate the cost/benefit (problem/solution)
  • Alleviate the fears and concerns of targets (identified by research eg. FGD…..)
remember when advocating
Remember……..When Advocating

Focus on ways to present the problem

Most Simply and Dramatically


According to Target Group

lack of effective advocacy strategies
Lack of Effective AdvocacyStrategies

Leads to

Lack ofPriority & Awareness

Lack of Support

Increased Fears and Suspicions

Reflecting itself as program problems

advocacy guidelines

Advocacy Guidelines

Dr. Azza Gohar

Training Unit

National Nutrition Institute


what to tell medical community
What to Tell Medical Community

According to the level/type

  • Magnitude of the problem
  • Impact on health
  • Safety of fortified foods/Other countries successes
  • Impact of food fortification on health
  • No Impact on Clinical Conditions (Thalassemia)
  • Role in Patient Information
define the problem its magnitude
Define the Problem & its Magnitude
  • Define & describe the problem & its causes
  • Confirm the problem exists in quantity (prevalence by age –sex-geographical..)
  • Mention actual facts on biological , Dietary & consumption indicators
define clarify impact of the problem on health
Define & Clarify Impact of the Problem on health
  • Clinical Impacts: Mortality rates, Morbidity rates, maternal deaths, still births , LBW, immunity, childhood development, disabilities/impairments
  • Social Impacts: IQ/intelligence, mental capacity, school performance, work performance
impact of food fortification on health problem
Impact of Food Fortification on Health Problem

Give examples for comparisons

  • Other rich food sources (food tables) in numbers
  • Other Countries that solved the problem by food fortification (names & numbers)
give evidence of safety of fortified foods
Give Evidence of Safety of Fortified Foods
  • Safety of Level (type of fortificant)
  • Evidence that
    • Individuals not at risk can consume the fortified food safely
    • Fortification process has a very good QC & QA system
    • Successful Examples of Industrialized & Similar Countries
describe possible side effects
DescribePossible Side Effects
  • Describe clearly any side effects from consumption of Fortified food if any and how to handle
  • Describe proper management and what to say to their patients in that case
  • Describe clearly any changes expected in color, taste, appearance, odor, texture of fortified food
  • Involve them as part of the solution
  • Motivate them to share
what to tell decision makers
What to Tell Decision -Makers
  • Magnitude of the problem (According to Sector)
  • National Cost of neglecting it
  • Cost- effectiveness & efficacy of fortification
  • Safety of fortification
  • Experiences in other countries
general population consumers
General population (Consumers)
  • Define the problem simply
  • Impact of problem on health, well being, productivity, intelligence…..
  • Safety of fortificant
  • Expected changes in taste or color
  • Expected side effects
  • Expected cost
food producers millers food distributors bakers
Food producers (Millers)/ Food distributors (Bakers)
  • Cost of new technology
  • Technical Feasibility & Know how
  • Marketing Benefits & Profits
  • Other countries successful experiences
  • Types , level & Safety of fortificant
  • Expected extra work load
  • Shelf life and storage