Calcium is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role for the human body, including blood clotting, and building bones and keeping them healthy.

Pregnancy places tremendous demands on a women’s body and complications during this time can be serious and sometimes fatal. One of the leading causes of maternal deaths are the hypertensive disorders pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.

Currently, there is only one nutritional strategy recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for prevention of pre-eclampsia: calcium supplementation.

Nutrition International is committed to improving the health of women of child bearing age, to ensure they can survive their pregnancies and deliver a healthy a baby.

We are undertaking an in-depth research project with Cornell University and implementing partners in Ethiopia and Kenya, to determine the best prenatal calcium supplementation program.

Details of the operations research project include the dosage and use of supplement for women, how to ensure the most convenient means for women to access, sources for social support, training and communications strategies.

Did you know?
  • While food is the best course of calcium – such as dairy, some proteins and green vegetables – in many countries, few calcium rich foods are commonly eaten every day. In addition, unlike other nutrients such as iron, excess calcium is not stored in the body, making calcium deficiency a serious global health issue.
  • Research has shown that, for women deficient in calcium, calcium supplements can reduce their risk of developing pre-eclampsia. For women at high risk of developing the disorder, the risk can be reduced by 78 per cent.