An ICDDR, B (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh) study found that multiple micronutrient supplements from early pregnancy reduce infant mortality rate by 60%.
The study found that the mothers, who received food and multiple micronutrient supplements from early pregnancy, had an infant mortality rate of 17 per 1000 live births, while the mothers, who received the existing standard programme, had a rate of 44 per 1000 live births.
The 15-year-long study titled “Maternal and Infant Nutrition Interventions in Matlab (MINIMat)” has been published on Thursday at a seminar in ICDDR, B auditorium on Thursday.
Some 4,436 pregnant women were provided with food supplements and micronutrients at the early stage of their pregnancy during the study that was conducted from 2001 to 2003. This group of women and their children were observed over past 15 years.
Maternal and child under-nutrition is believed to be the underlying cause of 3.5 million annual deaths and almost half of the total diseases suffered by the children aged less than five years.
Scientist Dr Jena Derakhshani Hamadani, a member of the research team, said: “The risk of infant death for the women, who were provided with food supplements from their early pregnancy with multiple micronutrients, was reduced by 60% in comparison to those who had received the standard programme of food supplements and iron folic acid capsules at the late stage of their pregnancy.”
The MINIMat results suggested that pregnancy nutrition interventions may not only save infants’ lives, but also reduces the risks for chronic diseases in adulthood.”