With nutrition and education as a core component of our approach to sustainable development in Haiti, we have partnered with the Global Center for Development of the Whole Child (GC-DWC) at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Notre Dame Haiti, and Dr. Jessica Rigutto-Farebrother of ETH Zurich to serve as an academic network to support both scientific and implementation research to maximize our impact. They also drive nutritional improvement through the Bon Sel Initiative, supporting the only domestic salt fortification processor.
In 2022, we conducted a cross-sectional study in the remote regions of Central Plateau highlands. This study included 400 children and 322 women of reproductive age. Our results show that habitual iodine intake has almost doubled, compared with previous data collected by UNICEF in 2018 (REF) Our findings suggest that the bouillon cube using Bon Sel (Haiti Salt Project) fortified salt is the primary vehicle for iodine in the population studied, but products from the Dominican Republic may also provide a meaningful contribution to iodine intake.
Our research discovered that almost half of school-aged children are at risk of anemia. If iron-deficiency anemia is present in the population, correcting iodine intakes will only help education and learning initiatives to a certain extent, due to the fatigue, lack of energy, and lower focus that anemia presents.
Kwasans is partnered with the Bon Sel Initiative through the Global Center for Development of the Whole Child at the University of Notre Dame.
The Bon Sel Initiative fortifies and distributes iodized salt for Haitians to reduce nutrient deficiencies, serving as the only salt processing plant in Haiti. The BSI operates as a social enterprise, as it is the largest purchaser of salt in Haiti and works to educate Haitian suppliers on producing higher quality salt. The BSI improves the local community by increasing access to fortified salt, ensuring effective distribution through surveillance testing to continuously monitor their goal of creating a healthier Haiti.