Miconutrient deficiency is a contributing factor in child undernutrition. Mothers and children across Asia are not getting enough vitamin D. In Amman, a study found that 9 out of 10 children are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency can have short-term and long-term impact on child health, and leads to complications beyond bones; Vitamin D deficiency can affect a child's immunity to infections. 

“Vitamin D deficiency is a global epidemic. One billion people worldwide are deficient,” said GAIN's Director of Large-scale Food Fortification Greg Garrett in his presentation of the opportunities and limitations for combating vitamin D deficiency. 

Also presented was innovations in micronutrient powder programmes and lessons learned from integrated nutrition programmes by World Vision International's Nutrition Policy and Partnership Advisor Miriam Yiannakis. In the presentation, which showed that integrated nutrition programmes can decrease anaemia, rickets, and stunting in children, Yiannakis said: “Childrens lives are improved.” 

Grenville Hopkinson, One Goal's franchise director, presented about the ONE GOAL campaign's engagement with a new audience to tackle child nutrition in Asia -- the 1.4 billion football fans. ONE GOAL harnesses the power of football to tackle child nutrition in Asia -– home to over 578 million malnourished children -- by inspiring football fans to take decisive action through awareness, viral messaging, donations and advocacy activities to increase the number of children in Asia who survive and thrive.

Vitamin D is more than just a vitamin. Vitamin D is imperative for pregnant mothers and infants to ensure immunity to infections, bone strength, muscle performance and child health – all factors that are important for growing healthy footballers for the future, says ONE GOAL. 

At the conference, Jordan's Head of Pediatrics called for action to address vitamin D deficiency. 

More from the Vitamin D and Micronutrients Conference (from tweets #vitD4strongchildren)

"Undernutrition and micronutrient deficiency is an underlying cause in 45% of child deaths." -Zulfi Bhutta, WHO

"Breast feeding protects infant high risk girls against acute respiratory infections." - Dr Fernando Polack 

"Pneumonia is an illness of the poor and the largest child killer after the neonatal period." - Dr Jonathan McCullers

Maternal carb intake during pregnancy correlates directly with infant respiratory illness. via @hopkinsons, ONE GOAL Franchise Director


One Goal representatives at the conference included:

Greg Garrett, Director of Large-scale Food Fortification, GAIN Health

Miriam Yiannakis, Nutrition Policy and Partnership Advisor, World Vision International’s Nutrition Centre of Expertise

Grenville Hopkinson, Franchise Director, ONE GOAL

Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice President at DSM Nutritional Products and Head for Nutrition & Science Advocacy