The aim of this paper was to evaluate interventions for maternal and child micronutrient deficiencies
We undertook a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of potential interventions to address maternal and child micronutrient deficiencies using standard methodology.
A total of 167 studies were included. Among the maternal interventions; daily iron supplementation resulted in a 69% reduction in incidence of anemia, 20% in incidence of low birthweight (LBW) and an improved mean birth weight. There is no difference between intermittent iron/iron folic acid supplementation and daily supplementation. Multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMN) supplementation significantly decreased LBW by 14% and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) by 13%. In comparison with standard iron and folate use, MMN supplementation resulted in a significant decrease in LBW and SGA babies with comparable effects on anemia. Balanced protein energy supplementation reduced the incidence of SGA by 32% and stillbirths by 45%. Among the neonatal and child interventions; Vitamin A Supplementation reduced all-cause mortality by 24% with a 14% reduction in the risk of infant mortality. Intermittent iron supplementation in children reduced anemia by 49% and iron deficiency by 76%. MMN supplementation showed small effect sizes on outcomes of growth, including improved height and weight. Preventive zinc supplementation reduced the incidence of premature delivery, decreases morbidity from childhood diarrhea and acute lower respiratory infections, and increases linear growth and weight gain.
These proven interventions, if scaled up have the potential to reduce the global burden of undernutrition substantially.