Micronutrient Laboratories Limited brought into the market on Wednesday 14 October 2020, its Cognito Micronutrient Powder to fight the threat of infant malnutrition in Nigeria.
Cognito MNP has witnessed rapid growth on the back of acceptance by institutional buyers, notably the Federal Ministry of Health and other MDAs at federal and state government levels.
Micronutrient Laboratories Limited stated that Cognito MNP would enhance the nutritional value of food served to children from six months to five years with the addition of Cognito.
Cognito MNP is a product and brand designed to meet a pressing need.
UNICEF states that Nigeria has the second-highest burden of stunted children globally, with a national prevalence rate of 32 per cent of children under five. An estimated 2 million children in Nigeria suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), but the country reaches only two out of every ten children affected with treatment.
Besides, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank Group identified three malnutrition categories. They are stunting, wasting and overweight.
The organisations’ Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates, 2020 reports that 144 million children under-5 are stunted (too short for their age), 47 million are wasted (too thin for their height), and 38 million children under 5 are overweight.
Dr Kenny Acholonu is the Chief Innovation Officer, Micronutrient Laboratories Limited. He averred that Cognito MNP “is a readily available micronutrient powder for optimising the nutritive value of local foods for all malnourished children including those in challenging settings such as conflict areas, IDPs, and poverty-chains.“
Acholonu said the micronutrient formulation directly responds to the challenge thrown by international agencies bothered with the high incidence of infant mortality traceable to food deficiencies and the lack of local capacity.
“Rotary International and UNICEF threw the challenge of local production of micronutrient powder in Nigeria in 2009. Before and since then, Nigeria has imported MNP. They approached me based on a recommendation by BASF, the world leader in chemicals. My team and I took up the challenge. We produced Micronutrient powder to global standards.”
Dr Acholonu asserted, “Cognito will assist Nigeria to tackle the problem of micronutrient deficiency. It will be useful in tackling the challenge of food lacking in vital nutrients that many of our deprived citizens eat and serve their children.”
Rachael Amadasun, Technical Manager, said Micronutrient Laboratories formulated their product according to the Federal Government’s prescription. She noted that “Cognito® MNP is a single-serve blend of 15 essential micronutrients (10 vitamins and five minerals). It is a 1gram powder used to improve the nutritional content of most staple foods. Users add Cognito to “semi-solid foods and porridges after cooking and at a temperature conducive to feeding the child. A sachet of Cognito® MNP is sufficient to provide 100% RNI for children within the age range (6months to 59 months).“
Home fortification of food is one of the federal government’s intervention strategies to prevent micronutrient deficiencies in children under–5 years.
Cognito MNP has NAFDAC certification.