The Kirk family established Kirk Humanitarian in 2002 with the intent of reducing global inequity as a critical facet of maternal and infant health.
In high-income countries, women take the most comprehensive prenatal supplements during pregnancy – multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS), which contain 15 vitamins and minerals. In many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), however, women often only have access to a supplement containing just two vitamins and minerals: iron-folic acid (IFA). Together with other factors, this makes women in LMICs more likely to experience poor birth outcomes. Infants are more likely to die prematurely and those that survive infancy are more likely to experience poorer physical growth and poorer cognitive function.
At Kirk Humanitarian, we help to address this inequity. We provide an initial supply of MMS to NGOs and governments in LMICs. We partner with manufacturers, develop guidance, and look for new opportunities to ensure quality, increase demand, and lower the cost of MMS. We generate evidence to make the introduction and scaling of MMS programs effective and efficient. And we advocate for the adoption of MMS programs and policies.
At the 2019 Goalkeepers Event, we joined more than 10 organizations in pledging funds and in-kind donations to accelerate the introduction, scaling, and use of MMS as a part of the Healthy Mother, Healthy Babies Accelerator.
We committed to provide a supply of MMS for 15 million women over three years and pledged $1 million in funding to support advocacy, market development, and implementation support for MMS introduction and scaling in LMICs.
Where We Supply MMS
We donate MMS to 80 countries around the world, helping governments transition from IFA to MMS programs.
A world where every mother receives the nutrition she needs, and every child is born healthy.
To support the nutrition, health, and well-being of women and babies by making MMS available, accessible, and more widely taken by pregnant women in LMICs.
Our Approach and Impact
We bring technical nutrition expertise and marketing and manufacturing experience to help catalyze and accelerate, availability and use of MMS in LMICs. We focus our work in four areas:
Poor nutrition during pregnancy leads to higher rates of infection and complications that can be devastating to both mother and baby. It is clear that multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) help ensure women and children the brightest future possible. This is why MMS must become available and accessible to all women around the world.”
Robert Black, MD, Johns Hopkins University