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Bangladesh Nutrition: Pregnancy Supplements

Research by Jonathan Rose and Enamul Hoque focuses on three key nutrition direct interventions during pregnancy – calcium supplementation, balanced energy protein supplementation and iron-folate supplementation. Calcium supplementation reduces the chance of pre-eclampsia during birth, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure that can cause maternal mortality and pre-term birth. Balanced energy-protein decreases the incidence of a stillbirth and decreases the risk of small for gestational age infants. Lastly, Iron-folate supplementation has been shown to reduce the risk of anemia in mothers by 69 percent. The analysis of each of these interventions shows substantial economic benefits relative to the costs, with every Taka spent generating a return to society of between 12 and 28 Taka (benefit cost ratio for iron-folate supplements is 27.5, for balanced energy protein is 16.7, and for calcium is 12).