Zinc Supplementation

The Challenge

  • Diarrhea is one of the most common causes of death among children in developing countries.
  • Therapeutic zinc supplementation can decrease the severity and duration of diarrhea and the incidence of both diarrhea and pneumonia among young children.
  • Recent estimates suggest that zinc deficiency is associated with at least 4 percent of overall child mortality.

HKI Solution

  • In collaboration with local partners, Helen Keller International works with national governments to adopt the WHO/UNICEF guidelines to include zinc supplementation in national diarrhea control programs and to train health workers to implement these guidelines.
  • HKI’s Africa Regional Office in Senegal hosts the secretariat of the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group (IZiNCG): www.izincg.org.
  • HKI’s programs also promote optimal breastfeeding and improved hygiene practices to prevent these life-threatening infections in the first place.  Helen Keller International is dedicated to preventing malnutrition worldwide.