Our Priorities > Enhancing Access Contributing Expertise in Nutrition Science
In Haiti, we have teamed up with the nonprofit Partners In Health to build a new facility producing Nourimanba, a peanut-based food that helps treat childhood malnutrition. In time, the manufacturing plant could also empower Haitians to develop and sell nonmedical foods like peanut butter.
The Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Science (AFINS) is the first program of its kind to advance the understanding and clinical practice of nutrition – first at Shanghai Children's Medical Center (SCMC) in Shanghai and now at Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi. AFINS is designed to advance clinical nutrition within hospitals by providing training and health education, clinical research and high-quality nutritional patient care nationwide.
China has a large percentage of children suffering from malnutrition as a result of limited access to nutritious foods and because many families are not educated about good nutrition. Here, Shanghai Children's Medical Center health care workers are discussing patient cases.
In China, the Abbott Fund established AFINS in partnership with Project HOPE and Shanghai Children's Medical Center (registration counter depicted here). The program is designed to provide a regional model for best practices in hospital-based pediatric nutrition. As part of an educational exchange in late 2009, partners from AFINS Vietnam toured SCMC in China.
Depicted here, SCMC nutrition experts share their techniques while making rounds in hospital intensive care units.
Displayed here are examples of nutritional products, medical devices, drugs and other tools used at SCMC.
AFINS in Vietnam is just one part of Abbott's global commitment to advancing nutrition science to help people live healthier lives.
AFINS China has already trained almost 800 physicians and nearly 400 nurses and dietitians. In Vietnam, the program has helped integrate nutrition education into the curriculum at local medical schools, leading to the creation of sound nutritional guidelines for hospitals.
Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies afflict millions of people globally, especially children. Vitamin A deficiency, for example, compromises the immune systems of almost 40 percent of children under age five, causing nearly a million deaths in the developing world, according to UNICEF and the Micronutrient Initiative. Similarly, folic acid deficiency causes some 200,000 severe birth defects in 80 developing countries, while mild to moderate zinc deficiency affects more than a third of the world's population, compromising children's growth and immune function.
Abbott and the Abbott Fund are partnering with leading researchers and nonprofit organizations to develop new ways of tackling the malnutrition challenge, while creating jobs and supporting local economies. Abbott contributes scientific knowledge about the role of multiple plant sources and other raw materials in producing specific vitamins and minerals, as well as expertise in formulation, large-scale production, quality assurance and related areas to help make the development and manufacturing of fortified foods more effective and efficient.
Ultra Rice in India
Some 200 million of India's people suffer from malnutrition and hunger, the most in any country. Since rice is the staple food for most Indians, it may also hold the key to solving the nation's malnutrition challenge. Aided by a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Abbott Fund, Abbott nutrition scientists are working with the Seattle-based nonprofit organization PATH to further optimize its Ultra Rice fortification technology in ways that reduce costs while improving nutritional value. Ultra Rice is a micronutrient delivery system that packs vitamins and minerals into rice-shaped grains made from rice flour. When these granules are blended with milled rice, typically at a 1:100 ratio, the resulting product is far more nutritious than traditional rice, yet is nearly identical in smell, taste and texture.
Nourimanba in Haiti
Severe malnutrition is a longstanding problem in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Together, Abbott and Boston-based Partners In Health (PIH) are constructing a new nutritional food production facility that will enable Haitian workers to produce a much larger volume of locally sourced, high-quality food products.
Supported by a $6.5 million investment by Abbott and the Abbott Fund, the new facility, located in Haiti's central plateau region, is focused on producing Nourimanba, a nutritious, peanut-based, ready-to-use therapeutic food that helps treat severe childhood malnutrition. In the future, the new manufacturing plant could also empower Haitians to develop and sell nonmedical nutritional foods like peanut butter to support PIH's continued production and free distribution of Nourimanba.
Abbott employees from multiple business units and functional areas are collaborating to help PIH and its local Haitian partners enhance Nourimanba production. For example, Abbott engineers are working to optimize the design of the new manufacturing plant, while Abbott food scientists are focused on refining the Nourimanba formula to better utilize local ingredients and boost nutritional benefits. Abbott experts also are working with PIH and local partners to improve the product's shelf life and to ensure continued safety while scaling up production.
Along with our current work on Nourimanba, Abbott and the Abbott Fund have contributed $55 million since 2007 to support maternal and child health and other needs in Haiti.
To learn more about our work with PIH, please visit partnershipinhaiti.org.
Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Science
Completing our efforts to improve the quality of these nutritional formulations, the Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Science (AFINS) offers a unique model for advancing understanding and practice of clinical nutrition. In both China and Vietnam, AFINS is focused on extensive training of physicians, nurses and dietitians and the integration of nutrition training into local medical school curricula. The program also supports the development of standardized nutritional guidelines.
We established AFINS China in 2007, in partnership with Project HOPE and Shanghai Children's Medical Center, to address gaps in pediatric clinical nutrition. In 2010, AFINS in Vietnam was inaugurated, in partnership with Boston University, Bach Mai Hospital, the National Institute of Nutrition and Hanoi Medical University.
Note: All data in the Global Citizenship section reflects activities prior to the separation of Abbott and AbbVie on January 1, 2013.