Updated Aug 12, 2020

Lucky Iron Fish™

www.luckyironfish.com

Anne Pringle

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a novel health innovation for iron deficiency and anemia

In 2008, Chris Charles thought of creating a piece of iron shaped like a local river fish believed to bring good luck and fortune. His simple idea succeeded beyond all expectations, and the goal is now to scale up the product.
How does your innovation work?
On a 2008 study mission in Cambodia, University of Guelph researcher Chris Charles thought of creating a piece of iron shaped like a...
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In 2008, Chris Charles thought of creating a piece of iron shaped like a local river fish believed to bring good luck and fortune. His simple idea succeeded beyond all expectations, and the goal is now to scale up the product.
How does your innovation work?
On a 2008 study mission in Cambodia, University of Guelph researcher Chris Charles thought of creating a piece of iron shaped like a local river fish believed to bring good luck and fortune. Women happily placed the Lucky Iron Fish in their cooking pots and, in the months that followed, anemia in the village fell dramatically. Small businesses across Cambodia will produce and distribute the fish with quality control measures in place.
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Stage 5: Scaling

A Lucky Iron Fish is small enough to be stirred easily but large enough to provide about 75 per cent of daily iron requirements. “The results are stunning,” says Dr. Alastair Summerlee, President of the University of Guelph and Chair of the Board of Directors of Lucky Iron Fish. “Initial results show a huge decrease in anemia and the village women say they feel good, experience no dizziness and have fewer headaches. The iron fish is incredibly powerful.”
In Cambodia, six in 10 women are anemic due to iron deficiency in their diets, causing premature labour, hemorrhaging during childbirth and the impaired brain development of their babies. Usually obtained through red meat or other iron-rich foods, a small chunk of iron added to water in the cooking pot can release a life-saving iron supplement, but attempts to persuade mothers to do so were unsuccessful.
Registered in Canadain Canada

Focus Areas:

Nutrition, Maternal Newborn and Child Health, Menstrual Hygiene and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Nutrition, Maternal Newborn and Child Health, Menstrual Hygiene, HIV/AIDS and Social and Behavior ChangeSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Guatemala, Dominican Republic, India and 5 MoreSEE ALL

Guatemala, Dominican Republic, India, Peru, Senegal, Benin, Tanzania and CambodiaSEE LESS

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Key Partners
8
Countries Implemented In
8
Employees
Verified Funding
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Problem

Iron deficiency (ID) is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. ID impacts mostly women and children causing nausea, fatigue, fainting, affecting their health, wellness, and productivity. ID increases risk of infection, making people more susceptible to illness. ID contributes to a $70B annual global GDP loss and a 15% decrease in women’s earning potential. For children under 5, lack of iron can impede their cognitive development, educational outcomes and future earning potential.

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Solution

Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise is a social enterprise preventing and solving iron deficiency (ID). We have created an innovative cooking tool that is scientifically proven to reduce the prevalence of ID and improve iron status. The Lucky Iron Fish (LIF) needs to be boiled for 10 minutes in any liquid meals to release a significant portion of the daily requirement of iron. One LIF is reusable daily for up to 5 years. The LIF provides a cheaper and more accessible solution for ID.

Funding Goal2,000,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted850,000
New Implemented CountriesDominican Republic, Guatemala, Benin, Haiti, Malawi, Senegal, Peru, Kenya, India, Uganda, Tanzania

The Team Behind the Innovation

Dr. Gavin Armstrong, President & CEO. Through this role he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in the social entrepreneur category in 2016 and also named one of Real Leaders top 50 global Leaders and received the Babson Social Innovator award in 2016. Gavin is the first Canadian to receive the William J. Clinton Award for international work against hunger and received the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian award in 2017.

Milestone

Nov 2019
New Country Implemented In
Tanzania
Jul 2019
Key Partnership
Implementation
Dec 2018
Key Partnership
Implementation
Apr 2013
Date Unknown
Created
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Cambodia