Micronutrient deficiency conditions are a major global public health problem. While the private sector has an important role in addressing this problem, the main responsibility lies with national governments, in cooperation with international agencies and donors. Mandatory fortification of basic foods provides a basic necessary intake for the majority and needs to be supported by provision of essential vitamin and mineral supplements for mothers and children and other high risk groups. Fortification by government mandate and regulation is essential with cooperation by private sector food manufacturers, and in the context of broader policies for poverty reduction, education and agricultural reform. Iron, iodine, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, folic acid, zinc, vitamin D and vitamin B12 are prime examples of international fortification experience achieved by proactive governmental nutrition policies. These are essential to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and their follow-up sustainable global health targets. National governmental policies for nutritional security and initiatives are essential to implement both food fortification and targeted supplementation policies to reduce the huge burden of micronutrient deficiency conditions in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.
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