Micronutrient deficiencies also known as hidden hunger are widespread in Tanzania affecting mostly women of reproductive age and children under five years. TDHS data (2010) indicates that stunting affects 42% of children. 33% of children have vitamin A deficiency while vitamin A deficiency for women of reproductive age is 37%. Anaemia affects 59% of children of which 33% is iron deficiency. Anaemia affects 40% in women of which 30% is iron deficiency. The primary cause being insufficient intake of bioavailable micronutrients. Food fortification has being indicated in various countries to be a good tool for fighting hidden hunger.
Food Fortification was integrated into other micronutrient control measures by engaging large food industries to start food fortification by mandatory. Public, Private Partnership was used throughout the process. The programme was launched in May 2013 by former H/E President Dr Mrisho Jakaya Kikwete
Large wheat flour industries started fortifying wheat flour with iron, zinc, folic acid and B12. Large edible oil industries started fortifying oil with vitamin A. They all comply with regulations and standards. More industries joined the programme as time goes. Study conducted in Dar es Salaam indicated a fall of folic acid deficiency by about 50 % after nine moths follow up study after inauguration of the programme.
This programme might contribute in alleviating micronutrient deficiency and improving the nutrition status of women and children. Acceptance by industries shows a sense of ownership and sustainability. Public, Private Partnership should be encouraged and strengthened.