Children’s malnutrition organization, Vitamin Angels, is distributing more than 345,000 zinc tablets, donated by Novus International Inc., to help prevent children’s deaths due to diarrhea.

The zinc tablets are being provided through Novus’s human ingredient division Stratum Nutrition. The tablets will be used to supplement oral rehydration salt to reduce diarrheal episodes in infants and children under the age of five, the age group most vulnerable to this illness. According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, widespread use of ORS in conjunction with zinc can prevent up to 88% of the 1.5 million childhood deaths worldwide each year due to diarrhea. Normally, supplies are provided by the Kenya Ministry of Health, but a lack of stock in 2010 resulted in health teams using only ORS to treat diarrhea.

The donation from Novus will cover the local needs throughout 2011. “We are very proud of our partnership with Vitamin Angels and how our collective efforts can have such a tremendous impact on the lives of children in need,” said Novus President and CEO Thad Simons. “Partnering with Vitamin Angels is an easy choice for us. The organization’s work directly aligns with our corporate vision to 'help feed the world affordable, wholesome food and achieve a higher quality of life’.”