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Anaemia in schoolchildren in eight countries in Africa and Asia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 March 2009

Andrew Hall*
Affiliation:
Scientific Coordinating Centre, Partnership for Child Development, Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3FY, UK
Emily Bobrow
Affiliation:
Save the Children Federation, 54 Wilton Road, Westport, CT 06880, USA
Simon Brooker
Affiliation:
Scientific Coordinating Centre, Partnership for Child Development, Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3FY, UK
Matthew Jukes
Affiliation:
Scientific Coordinating Centre, Partnership for Child Development, Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3FY, UK
Kate Nokes
Affiliation:
Scientific Coordinating Centre, Partnership for Child Development, Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3FY, UK
Jane Lambo
Affiliation:
Scientific Coordinating Centre, Partnership for Child Development, Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3FY, UK
Helen Guyatt
Affiliation:
Scientific Coordinating Centre, Partnership for Child Development, Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3FY, UK
Don Bundy
Affiliation:
Scientific Coordinating Centre, Partnership for Child Development, Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3FY, UK
Sam Adjei
Affiliation:
Ghana Partnership for Child Development, Health Research Unit, Adabraka, P.O. Box 184, Accra, Ghana
Su-Tung Wen
Affiliation:
Ghana Partnership for Child Development, Health Research Unit, Adabraka, P.O. Box 184, Accra, Ghana
Satoto
Affiliation:
Partnership for Child Development (Mitra), Research Institute, University of Diponegoro, Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia
Hertanto Subagio
Affiliation:
Partnership for Child Development (Mitra), Research Institute, University of Diponegoro, Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia
Mohammed Zen Rafiluddin
Affiliation:
Partnership for Child Development (Mitra), Research Institute, University of Diponegoro, Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia
Ted Miguel
Affiliation:
ICS Monitoring & Evaluation, P.O. Box 599, Busia, Kenya
Sylvie Moulin
Affiliation:
ICS Monitoring & Evaluation, P.O. Box 599, Busia, Kenya
Joseph de Graft Johnson
Affiliation:
Save the Children Federation, NGO Onions Village, P.O. Box 30374, Lilongwe, Malawi
Mary Mukaka
Affiliation:
Save the Children Federation, NGO Onions Village, P.O. Box 30374, Lilongwe, Malawi
Nathalie Roschnik
Affiliation:
Save the Children Federation, Bamako, Mali
Moussa Sacko
Affiliation:
Institut National de Recherche en Santé Publique, B.P. 1771, Bamako, Mali
Anna Zacher
Affiliation:
Save the Children Federation, Avenida Tomas Nduda, CP 1854, Maputo, Mozambique
Bonifacio Mahumane
Affiliation:
Save the Children Federation, Avenida Tomas Nduda, CP 1854, Maputo, Mozambique
Charles Kihamia
Affiliation:
Tanzania Partnership for Child Development, Ocean Road Hospital, P.O. Box 9383, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Lillian Mwanri
Affiliation:
Tanzania Partnership for Child Development, Ocean Road Hospital, P.O. Box 9383, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Simon Tatala
Affiliation:
Tanzania Partnership for Child Development, Ocean Road Hospital, P.O. Box 9383, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Nicholas Lwambo
Affiliation:
National Institute of Medical Research, Mwanza Research Centre, P.O. Box 1462, Mwanza, Tanzania
Julius Siza
Affiliation:
National Institute of Medical Research, Mwanza Research Centre, P.O. Box 1462, Mwanza, Tanzania
Le Nguyen Bao Khanh
Affiliation:
Viet Nam Partnership for Child Development, National Institute of Nutrition, 48 Tang Bat Ho, Hanoi, Vietnam
Ha Huy Khoi
Affiliation:
Viet Nam Partnership for Child Development, National Institute of Nutrition, 48 Tang Bat Ho, Hanoi, Vietnam
Nguyen Duy Toan
Affiliation:
Viet Nam Partnership for Child Development, National Institute of Nutrition, 48 Tang Bat Ho, Hanoi, Vietnam
*
*Corresponding author: Email ahall@hkidhaka.org
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Abstract

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Objective

To report on the haemoglobin concentrations and prevalence of anaemia in schoolchildren in eight countries in Africa and Asia.

Design

Blood samples were collected during surveys of the health of schoolchildren as a part of programmes to develop school-based health services.

Setting

Rural schools in Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania and Vietnam.

Subjects

Nearly 14 000 children enrolled in basic education in three age ranges (7–11 years, 12–14 years and Ä15 years) which reflect the new UNICEF/WHO thresholds to define anaemia.

Results

Anaemia was found to be a severe public health problem (defined as >40% anaemic) in five African countries for children aged 7–11 years and in four of the same countries for children aged 12–14 years. Anaemia was not a public health problem in the children studied in the two Asian countries. More boys than girls were anaemic, and children who enrolled late in school were more likely to be anaemic than children who enrolled closer to the correct age. The implications of the four new thresholds defining anaemia for school-age children are examined.

Conclusions

Anaemia is a significant problem in schoolchildren in sub-Saharan Africa. School-based health services which provide treatments for simple conditions that cause blood loss, such as worms, followed by multiple micronutrient supplements including iron, have the potential to provide relief from a large burden of anaemia.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © CABI Publishing 2001

References

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