National Consultation on Wheat Flour Fortification in India

WHO in collaboration with Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, UNICEF and UNWFP is organized a ‘National Consultation on Wheat Flour Fortification in India’, in New Delhi on 11-12 August 2015.

More than 50% percent of population in India suffers from anaemia and a large number of birth defects are attributed to inadequate intake of folic acid. To address these issues, fortification of staple food has been identified as an important and cost effective public health intervention.

The consultation reviewed global and national scientific and programmatic evidence on implementation, feasibility and impact of wheat flour fortification. It was intended for a wide audience, including government bodies, food industry, UN agencies, research institutes, scientists and experts involved in the design and implementation of flour fortification programs in India. The deliberations paved the way for addressing the issue of micronutrient deficiencies, focusing on anaemia and neural tube defects (NTDs), in order to provide recommendations for future implementation of wheat flour fortification with iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 through multiple channels.

The consultation helped in bringing together national and subnational stakeholders to formulate recommendations for using fortification as a strategy to combat anaemia and reduce incidence of NTDs in the Indian population.