Statement on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Ministries of Health, Industry, and Commerce, on the development of a Cost-Benefit Analysis for Flour Fortification in Sudan

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WHO Representative and Nutrition experts meeting with Sudan's Ministers of Health, Industry, and Commerce to develop a cost-benefit analysis for flour fortification in Sudan © WHO

Khartoum, 12 August 2018-- The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Federal Ministries of Health, Industry, and Commerce in Sudan have met to review the findings of March 2018 assessment and develop a cost-benefit analysis on wheat flour fortification in Sudan.

WHO Representative Dr. Naeema Al Gasseer stated that the study result has demonstrated that investing $1 in wheat flour fortification has the potential to return $15 to the economy of Sudan.

She further explained that this is due to improved cognitive ability in children and future productivity and improved working performance in the current adult population.

The addition of folic acid to flour will reduce the incidence of Neural Tube Defects in babies. This is an added burden to families who have to care for the child.

The Federal Minister of Health Mr. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda appreciated WHO’s efforts to provide evidence-based Cost-Benefit assessment conducted byWHO experts. He called for an urgent policy decision at high level engaging key Ministers such as Industry, Commerce, and policymakers. The Ministers of Commerce and Industry committed to supporting the plan of action under the endorsed ‘Health in All Policies’ to address the economic burden of micronutrient malnutrition.

WHO Representative concluded that next steps will be the development of an action plan, with budget estimates and a proposed timetable for the implementation of the national food fortification programme.