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Announcing Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies: New consortium will harness action to improve maternal nutrition

MARCH 10, 2021 – On a global webinar today, the Micronutrient Forum and its partners announced the launch of the new Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Consortium (HMHB). This consortium will harness global momentum to improve access to good maternal nutrition services and accelerate the availability and effective use of affordable multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS). Through collective effort, HMHB will work on ensuring that pregnant women everywhere have access to critical nutrition through MMS to safeguard their health and increase the chances that babies are born ready to thrive. As announced at the Micronutrient Forum CONNECTED Conference in November 2020, the Consortium will focus on implementation and scaling of MMS for pregnant women, building on the work of the 2019 Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Goalkeepers Accelerator. The well-being of women and children is essential to the strength of families, communities, and countries; healthy pregnancies are essential for infant health, development, and future success. Around the world, many pregnant women lack access to quality antenatal care and nutrition services and do not have access to the nutritious diets they need for a healthy pregnancy. MMS, which contain 15 essential micronutrients for pregnant women and babies, is a proven, cost-effective, and safe intervention leading to better birth outcomes than iron-folic acid supplementation alone. To achieve this vision, HMHB members will work toward creating demand for MMS in high-burden countries; scaling global, regional and local, sustainable supply of high-quality and affordable MMS; and ensuring effective, efficient delivery of MMS and high compliance with recommended dosage. In turn, HMHB members will connect to a global community of MMS advocates; help shape the MMS agenda and find assistance for their work; benefit from real-time insights, data, and dialogue; and strengthen their network and skills for MMS advocacy. Organizations and individuals aligned with the HMHB strategic objectives were invited to join the Consortium. The Consortium aims to amplify the voices of in-country leadership and accelerate the work of individual organizations through advocacy with one voice, alignment around one agenda, convening and consensus building, sharing resources and knowledge. The Micronutrient Forum is proud to take on the role of Secretariat for HMHB, supported by Kirk Humanitarian and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). “At the core of this initiative is the belief that women and babies deserve our best, and our best requires us to work together through an inclusive platform that brings advocates and experts across sectors and across the world together around one common agenda and a unified voice,” says Dr. Saskia Osendarp, the Executive Director of the Micronutrient Forum and a member of the HMHB Steering Committee.

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