Malawi has officially launched its national food fortification program, an event that has been building momentum since 2003. With guidance and support from Project Healthy Children, Ilovo Sugar – Malawi’s sole sugar producer – has successfully completed the scale-up of their two factories and vitamin A fortified sugar is now on the market. As an indication of a strong start to the program, recently conducted quality control tests show samples meet expected vitamin A addition levels.
With the exception of imported iodized salt, Illovo’s sugar will be the first locally, mass-produced fortified food on Malawi’s market under the national mandatory program. Malawi leads the East Africa region in successfully implementing an intervention that has the potential to transform the nation, preventing childhood blindness, numerous infections, and countless deaths. And this is just the beginning. Malawi plans to fortify maize and wheat flour with iron, folic acid, and several B vitamins, as well as cooking oil with vitamin A, while doubling efforts to ensure all salt sold is appropriately iodized.
To commemorate this occasion, the Government of Malawi’s Office of the President and Cabinet will host an official launch and ribbon cutting ceremony in the coming months.