Folic Acid and Iron: Next Generation Nutrition in Uganda
Lorraine Weatherspoon of Michigan State University in the U.S. will develop a blended instant bean sauce in an edible pouch that provides a culturally-acceptable iron and folic acid supplement for low-income pregnant women in Uganda. Iron and folic acid are particularly important during pregnancy as they reduce the risk of low birth weight and neural tube defects amongst many other morbidities and mortalities also for the mothers. Supplements provided as tablets are available, but have not been widely accepted. They are developing a more appealing iron and folic acid supplement by combining it with a commonly used product: a bean and silver fish sauce that can be made with local ingredients. They are using dried namulonge beans as they have high yields and a desirable taste, mixed with roasted, milled silver fish and micronutrients, packaged in an edible film to protect the food during storage and transport. The food is cooked in hot water and eaten with traditional foods such as cooking banana or rice. They will assess the nutritional composite of the product and acceptability by the target group. Their product will then be tested in a randomized controlled trial with teenage women at different stages of pregnancy at an antenatal clinic in Kampala to determine its effect on nutrition during pregnancy and the overall health of the mother and child at birth.