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Health economic perspectives of pediatric malnutrition: determinants of innovative progress.

Authors
  • Spieldenner, Jörg
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nestlé Nutrition workshop series. Paediatric programme
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2010
Volume
66
Pages
97–109
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1159/000318951
PMID: 20664219
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Despite some improvements in recent years, extreme poverty and malnutrition remain a critical concern for developing countries. Malnutrition, and more specifically pediatric malnutrition, is a reality affecting millions of children, particularly in South Asia and Africa. It causes increased mortality and morbidity, decreased physical and intellectual development, poor productivity and a number of negative economic outcomes. Health economics data clearly demonstrate that interventions are effective and efficient, but more data are needed to measure that efficiency. Initiatives to address microdeficiencies have focused on vitamin A, iodine, zinc, iron and folate. Iodine is often used as a best practice example. Two main institutions lead the efforts to address malnutrition throughout the world: the UN with its UN Millennium Development Goal project, and the Copenhagen Consensus. We consider micronutrient deficiencies, particularly in iodine, corresponding interventions, their effects and health economic data. We discuss how developing public/private partnership could boost the effectiveness of interventions by combining the competencies of both sides: credibility, national and international buy-in, experience of public institutions, commercial competencies, high penetration rate, and product knowledge of private industry.

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