Video On Demand

Multiple Micronutrient Supplements: Achieving a critical standard of care for pregnancy in humanitarian settings

March 28, 2023 • 10:00 – 11:00 am EDT

Though long recommended as the standard of care in high-income countries, multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) are not widely taken in most low- and middle-income countries, where pregnant women are offered only iron and folic acid (IFA) supplements during pregnancy. Twenty years of research shows that MMS has a similar impact to IFA on anemia but also performs better in preventing infants from being born too early and too small. The widespread adoption of MMS could protect the lives of mothers and their children during pregnancy and birth, with benefits for education, incomes, and economic growth, leading UNICEF and others to call for universal access to MMS across low-and middle-income countries.

Though approved by the WHO, UNICEF, and WFP for use in humanitarian emergencies since 2006, the use of MMS in these settings is not yet widespread. Where MMS are available, results are promising. On Tuesday, March 28, the CSIS Global Food Security Program will host maternal nutrition and humanitarian experts to discuss opportunities to expand access to MMS for pregnant women, particularly in humanitarian settings.

What sets MMS apart from other maternal nutrition supplements? What is the state of prenatal care for pregnant women in humanitarian emergency settings, and what are the obstacles to providing MMS to pregnant women in these settings? What are the long-term benefits of providing MMS in humanitarian settings, and what are the long-term costs of failing to provide these important supplements?

Please join the CSIS Global Food Security Program on March 28 at 10:00am as we welcome Emily Mates, Maternal Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF; Martin Mwangi, Program Lead at Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies; Jackie Sanders, Executive Director at the Junaid Family Foundation; and Akihiro Seita, Director of Health at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

This event is made possible through the generous support of the Eleanor Crook Foundation.


Caitlin Welsh
Director, Global Food and Water Security Program
Dr. Akihiro Seita

Dr. Akihiro Seita

Director of Health, UNRWA