About Us

Kirk Humanitarian is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to accelerate availability, access, uptake, and use of United Nations International Multiple Micronutrient Antenatal Preparation Multiple Micronutrient Supplements (UNIMMAP MMS) for women at risk of maternal malnutrition to create a healthier and more equitable world.

Our History

The Kirk family established Kirk Humanitarian in 2002 with the intent to reduce global inequity by improving maternal and infant health.

In high-income countries, most pregnant women take a multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS), often containing 15 or more vitamins and minerals. By contrast, pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) only have access to a supplement containing just two vitamins and minerals: iron-folic acid (IFA). This inequity, along with other factors, leads to women in LMICs more likely to experience poor pregnancy and birth outcomes – infants are more likely to die prematurely and those that survive are more likely to experience poorer physical growth and cognitive function.

Our Work

At Kirk Humanitarian, we help alleviate this inequity by focusing on an existing, proven, affordable intervention for malnutrition: UNIMMAP MMS. We donate an initial supply to qualified grantees, including governments, local/international NGOs and others. We partner with manufacturers, develop guidance, and look for new opportunities to lower the cost and increase demand for UNIMMAP MMS. We facilitate introduction of UNIMMAP MMS programs into antenatal care programs informed by implementation science. And we help our partners adopt programs and policies that support and optimize UNIMMAP MMS introduction on a large scale.

Where We Supply MMS

We donate UNIMMAP MMS to 80 countries around the world, helping partner organizations deliver the supplements directly to pregnant women and assisting governments as they transition from IFA to MMS programs. 

Our Vision

A world where every mother receives the nutrition she needs, and every child is born healthy. 

Our Mission

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 maternal nutrition expertise and marketing and manufacturing experience to help catalyze and accelerate, availability and use of UNIMMAP MMS in LMICs.  We focus our work in four areas:

Providing Supply

Providing Supply: We partner with global NGOs ready to distribute UNIMMAP MMS on a large scale. We also support low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as they sustainably transition from IFA to MMS by donating an initial supply of UNIMMAP MMS to qualified grantees.


Results

To date, we have purchased and donated more than 4 billion MMS doses in 80 countries, serving 24 million women. These tablets have averted up to 150,000 cases of maternal anemia, prevented over 100,000 low-weight births, and saved over 17,000 children’s lives, based on projected compliance.

Growing a Healthy Market

We work with manufacturers and partners to produce an immediate supply of MMSdrive down immediate manufacturing costs, develop technical specifications, and foster competition to further reduce costs. 


Results

Over the years, in conjunction with our partner, Contract Pharmacal Corp (CPC), we have grown to be the largest UNIMMAP MMS supplier and have driven down the cost of MMS four-fold – making MMS available for the same cost as IFA. 

With our partners, we have developed open-source guidance as a reference for MMS manufacturers – readying manufacturers to produce highquality, lowcost MMS. 

Driving Implementation Research

We support implementation research to generate operational knowledge and experience to inform MMS policy change and effective national and global scale up.


Results

We are supporting rigorous implementation research efforts to address barriers and help enable MMS coverage, acceptance, and adherence in LMIC settings.

Leading Advocacy

We work with partners worldwide to shape the global agenda to prioritize women’s nutrition and see more governments transition from IFA to MMS programs.


Results

We work with a range of global partners to champion MMS adoption by raising awareness about the opportunity MMS present in LMICs; integrating MMS into the agenda of scientific meetings; supporting international and national policy change; and assembling a network of strategic partners to engage NGOs and governments on MMS adoption.  

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 (MMShelp ensure women and children the brightest future possibleThis is why MMS must become available and accessible to all women around the world.

Robert Black, MD, Johns Hopkins University

Learn more about why UNIMMAP MMS are such a powerful maternal and newborn health intervention.

Join us in growing the movement to put UNIMMAP MMS in the hands of women everywhere.