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Completely preventable and rare in the West, micronutrient deficiencies are a major public health problem in developing countries, where diets poor in essential minerals cause severe illness, physical defects and approximately one million premature deaths every year. In 1996, UNICEF sparked a global initiative to control childhood anemia; noting that standard iron drops were not effective, they called for a new delivery system for iron and other micronutrient supplements. In response, Dr. Stanley Zlotkin and a team of researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children developed Sprinkles, a simple and affordable means of fortifying available food.
Packaged in a ready to use, single dose sachet, each Sprinkle contains vitamins and minerals (iron, vitamin A, zinc, etc.) encapsulated in a coating of soy lipid. This barrier minimizes any change in the taste or texture of the enriched food, which might cause patients (especially children) to reject treatment. The combination of convenience and covertness has proved a formula for success, combating malnutrition in Bolivia, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, India, Kyrgyzstan, and many other countries around the world.