During a humanitarian trip to Honduras in 2000, David and Stephanie Dodson saw firsthand how micronutrient health is the basic building block on which rests everything, from a child’s ability to resist HIV to a country’s ability to migrate from economic dependency to independence.
Upon their return to the States, the Dodsons founded Project Healthy Children (PHC) in response to the enormous gap they had seen between health care systems in the United States and the developing world. But they were primarily interested in exploring preventative health care strategies that, rather than relying on ongoing financial assistance, could be sustained indefinitely without outside help.
They knew that food fortification was one of least expensive but most reliable methods for improving micronutrient health. For approximately 25 cents (USD) per person per year, it is within a country’s power to prevent a child from becoming blind, a mother from hemorrhaging to death during childbirth, or a baby being born with a debilitating birth defect. All of this is accomplished not through charitable donations but through the day-to-day purchasing of basic commodities. All that was missing was targeted support to governments around how to create and implement such a program. That’s where PHC stepped in.