Sanku – Project Healthy Children

Sanku – Project Healthy Children’s mission is to provide children everywhere with the simple, inexpensive, basic nutritional support they require to survive and thrive. Sanku – Project Healthy Children focuses on achieving wide micronutrient coverage for at risk communities in Africa. 

  • 2024 achievements include:

    In June 2024, Sanku launched its Nutrient Premix Blending Factory in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The first of its kind in East and Central Africa. The factory is expected to provide affordable, high-quality nutrient premix locally, supporting millers in their fortification efforts and reducing logistical challenges. The new factory gives millers convenient access to high-quality nutrient premix produced based on each country’s fortification standards and includes Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Iron micronutrients among others. 70% of the packaging and raw materials, including the wheat carrier, essential for nutrient premix, will be sourced from local millers.

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Key Strengths: Scale, Durability

Multidimensional Poverty Index Indicators: Nutrition

Other Key Outcomes: Child development 

Recent Expense Budget: US$9.7M (FY23)

Year Founded: 2013

Number of people that Sanku reaches with nutritious food everyday
Number of flour millers partnering with Sanku in East Africa
Number of installed Dosifier machines
$0.38 – Sanku annual cost per person as of March 2024

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The problem: micronutrient malnutrition

Over two billion people don’t receive the vitamins and minerals their bodies require to stay healthy, including iron, vitamin A, folic acid, and iodine. [1] This micronutrient malnutrition, often referred to as “hidden hunger,” can lead to blindness, miscarriage, maternal death during childbirth, birth defects, compromised immune systems, and cognitive and developmental delays.

Micronutrient malnutrition is the leading cause of preventable intellectual and developmental disabilities in the world. [2] It also kills 3 million children under five each year — that’s over 8,200 deaths per day, and nearly half of all deaths in children under five. [3] [4]

Malnutrition contributes to nearly half of all deaths in children under five.
Three kids in blue and red jackets

Without proper nutrition, the poverty trap deepens: people become ill and vulnerable to disability or death, they cannot attend school or work, their families lose resources in order to care for them, and the cycle perpetuates.

The solution: cost-effective food fortification programs

Food fortification is one of the least expensive solutions to malnutrition, and has proven results. [5] Adding iron to soy sauce in China led to a 33% reduction in anaemia, and within a year of adding folic acid to wheat flour in Chile, spina bifida incidences were reduced by 51%. A 2015 baseline study by the Government of Tanzania in partnership with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) determined that only 2.5 per cent of the households consumed fortified flour. Soon after, Sanku launched operations in Tanzania, installing 70 Dosifier machines in small mills across the Morogoro region. A 2017 endline study by Helen Keller International (HKI) determined that fortified flour in households reached 90% in Tanzania’s Morogoro Municipal District.

How Sanku does it 

  1. Sanku installs its patented IoT enabled ‘smart’ Dosifier machines onto the small East African flour mills that feed millions of people. The fully automated Dosifier adds precise and safe amounts of critical nutrients into the key staple food people eat.
  2. Sanku produces the key inputs in-country that millers need to fortify, such as nutrient premix, flour bags and installs the Dosifier. Sanku owns the last mile of distribution throughout East Africa to ensure millers always have the key tools, training and support every day.
  3. Sanku monitors the millers’ use of our ‘smart’ Dosifier remotely via the machine’s cellular link and provides necessary support to the millers be it repairs or replacements of dosifiers and/or restocking of nutrients and flour bags. The Dosifier machines enable Sanku to quantitatively measure reach and impact via IoT.
Two small-scale mill workers standing next to a Sanku dosifier
The Sanku dosifier is orange. Bags with pink stripes are sold to millers by PHC-Sanku.

Sanku bulk-buys empty flour bags, which are then sold to the millers at the same price they would otherwise pay. They use the profits to provide millers the appropriate amount of premix at no additional cost. The dosifier’s proprietary technology is fully automated. Sanku monitors the miller’s use of the dosifier remotely, and visits the mill if the dosifier is not in use or needs repair. Sanku is on track to reach more than 100 million people within the decade.

What makes Sanku - Project Healthy Children so effective


On average, Sanku’s program costs $0.38 to fortify food for one person annually. This number is expected to be reduced due to enhanced economies of scale.


Sanku partners with various stakeholders including the Government, INGOs, millers and other partners to reach 10 million people with nutritious food every day. Sanku currently works with nearly 1200 mills to give millions of East Africans access to fortified food.

Compounding impact

Food fortification takes pressure off healthcare systems by preventing illness and disease. It also helps grow developing economies. The Copenhagen Consensus estimates that each dollar spent on iron and iodine fortification could yield over US$9 in economic benefit. [6]

Sanku – Project Healthy Children’s accountability and sustainability

Sanku – PHC reports its metrics of success online, detailing how the organization measures impact, performance, process, and cost-effectiveness. [7] More importantly, Sanku – PHC’s overarching mission is to ensure that they do not become a permanent part of a country’s food distribution and health systems. They help launch successful initiatives and excel at finding sustainable ways for governments to continue that work without a permanent presence.


Recognition and awards:

In 2022, Sanku won’s 2022 Social Innovation Award. The Classy Awards honour the most innovative non-profit organisations.

In 2021, Rolex selected Sanku’s CEO, Felix Brooks-church, as one of five Laureates of the prestigious Rolex Awards for Enterprise, for their visionary projects that have the potential to reinvent the future.

In 2020, Sanku was awarded The Lipman Family Grand Prize for effectively scaling our market-based solution to end hidden hunger.

In 2019, Sanku’s Dosifier was named to TIME Magazine’s 100 Best Inventions. The magazine’s annual list honors inventions that are making the world better, smarter and even a bit more fun.

In 2019, Sanku was awarded the Zayed Sustainability Prize which recognizes and rewards the achievements of those who are driving impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions across five distinct categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.