At least three million children die from malnutrition each year.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UC Davis are committed to changing this statistic.
The Gates Foundation, which contributes to humanitarian efforts around the world, has joined forces with UC Davis in the fight against malnutrition in developing countries.
During The Campaign for UC Davis, the foundation awarded a $20 million grant to Distinguished Professor Kathryn Dewey to fund a comprehensive, international nutrition project to improve maternal and child nutrition in impoverished areas
With the support from the non-profit foundation, Professor Dewey has led a team of UC Davis and international researchers in developing and evaluating the effects of nutritious, low-cost supplements to enrich the diets of mothers during pregnancy and early postpartum, and of children during the critical growth period of 6 to 24 months. They developed a peanut-butter-like substance that contains all essential vitamins and minerals in a ketchup-packet-sized daily serving, and conducted clinical trials of efficacy among nearly 8,000 families in Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Malawi.
Some of the early results of the project include reductions in growth stunting and developmental delay in children in Burkina Faso and a decrease in low birth weight among infants born to first-time mothers in Ghana.
The UC Davis-led research team plans to continue tracking the growth and development of these children into the future and is conducting a similar the study among mothers and children in Bangladesh.
“Our research team is extremely grateful to the Gates Foundation for supporting our work to formulate and evaluate the impact of this strategy to enrich the diets of women and children,” Professor Dewey said.