The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) website provides an overview of the state of nutrition in the Domain Republic. This profile can be accessed here. According to FAO profile “Among school age children (in the Dominican Republic), 19% suffer from stunting at national level”. The profile also states “Micronutrient deficiencies, mainly iodine, vitamin A, and iron, are public health problems in Dominican Republic. It is estimated that 5% of school-age children at national level have goiter. The prevalence of low serum retinol (<20 µg/dL) affects 23% of children aged 1-5 years, indicating that vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem among Dominicans. The prevalence of anemia (defined as low hemoglobin) affects 31% of children aged 1 to 14 years.”
Many employees at Watson were involved in the project, starting from the formulation of the vitamin/mineral composition, to the selection of a flavor. The flavoring was necessary because Watson wanted to provide a chewable vitamin, which would make it easier for people to take even if water isn’t readily available. Once the formula was developed and approved, each nutrient was scaled and weighed out according the formula, and mixed to produce a blend. Granulation was used to improve the tableting characteristics for the formula. The tablets were made on one of Watson’s small scale lab presses, taking three days to complete. The Purchasing Department at Watson selected jars, lids, safety seal, desiccants, and cotton for the bottles. The Marketing Department designed and printed the labels.
In addition, Watson employees plan to participate by packing the vitamins for the Dominican Republic, in conjunction with TCI. A total of 6,000 jars of vitamins will be produced. Each jar will contain 60 tablets, which represents a one-month supply for an adult, or a two-month supply for a child.