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Interventions for anemia prevention and control should incorporate an understanding of the biology as well as the assessment of the severity, magnitude, and prevalence of anemia in public health practice. The causes of anemia are multifactorial. Practitioners can address anemia using three main categories of interventions: 1) those that address non-nutritional causes of anemia (e.g., delayed cord clamping, malaria control, deworming); 2) those that address nutrients alone (e.g., dietary diversification, biofortification, food fortification, supplementation with iron and/or other micronutrients); and 3) those that address both. The emphasis of this anemia toolkit will be on interventions of public health relevance, but we also consider the clinical context. In addition to these broad categories, the toolkit will focus on—

  • evidence of the impact of inflammation and genetic mutations on the applicability and utility of the interventions, as well as issues related to the bioavailability of nutrients, and considerations of safety when selecting an intervention
  • iron and other nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B12, folate, riboflavin, and zinc that play a role in hemoglobin synthesis and are important for the prevention of anemia such as:
    • interventions at different stages of the life course—with a particular focus on women of reproductive age and preschool-age children
    • consideration of the interventions within the broader context of the external environments including sustainability, social and cultural factors, and climate change. 

In a resource-constrained environment, many health and nutrition issues compete for the attention of public health practitioners and funders. An effective, efficient, and sustainable approach to reducing anemia requires multi-sectoral collaborative efforts where the disparate motivations and mandates of different stakeholders must be addressed. Tools are available to help public health practitioners select one or more interventions to address the multifactorial nature of anemia.

The USAID Advancing Nutrition Anemia Task force has developed five Anemia Briefs that explore current evidence and practice to understand and address the causes and consequences of anemia, and interventions to reduce the burden of disease. One of those briefs—"Food-Based Approaches to Address Anemia”—explore issues related to food-based interventions for reducing anemia.

We found 113 resource(s)

Ferric Carboxymaltose Versus Standard-of-Care Oral Iron to Treat Second-Trimester Anaemia in Malawian Pregnant Women: A Randomised Controlled Trial
Journal Article published by Lancet in
This paper presents the results of an open-label, individually randomized controlled trial of a single dose of a modern intravenous iron formulation, ferric carboxymaltose, for anaemia treatment in pregnant women in Malawi with a singleton pregnancy of 13–26 weeks' gestation in primary care and outpatient settings.
Effects of Iron Supplementation on Neural Indices of Habituation in Bangladeshi Children
Journal Article published by Am J Clin Nutr in
This paper reports on the effect of iron supplementation on neural indices of habituation using auditory event-related brain potentials within a three-arm, double-blind, double-dummy, individual randomized trial in Bangladesh, in which 3,300 eight-month-old children were randomly selected to receive three months of daily iron syrup (12.5 mg iron…
Supplementation With Iron Syrup or Iron-Containing Multiple Micronutrient Powders Alters Resting Brain Activity in Bangladeshi Children
Journal Article published by Journal of Nutrition in
This study reports on the results of supplementation with iron or multiple micronutrient powders (MNPs) on brain activity measures using resting electroencephalography within a three-arm, double-blind, double-dummy, individual randomized trial in Bangladesh, in which 3,300 eight-month-old children were randomly selected to receive three months of…
Benefits of Small-Quantity Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements for Child Nutrition and Survival Warrant Moving to Scale
Journal Article published by Nature Food in
This editorial presents the benefits of Small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements as a highly cost-effective intervention to reduce relative risk of mortality, severe wasting and stunting, iron deficiency anemia, and developmental delay between the age of 6 and 23 months.
Iron, Folic Acid, and Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation Strategies during Pregnancy and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Botswana
Journal Article published by The Lancet Global Health in
Researchers tested four supplementation strategies and found that women who used multiple micronutrient supplementation had lower risk of preterm and very preterm births and low and very low birthweight when compared with other supplementation protocols.
Antenatal Multiple Micronutrient Supplements Versus Iron-Folic Acid Supplements and Birth Outcomes: Analysis by Gestational Age Assessment Method
Journal Article published by Maternal & Child Nutrition in
Trials performing ultrasounds for gestational age assessment found benefits of multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) on low birthweight, preterm birth, and small for gestational age. These analyses strengthen the evidence for the transition from iron-folic acid supplements to MMS in antenatal care programs.
The Effect of Interventions Distributing Home Fortification Products on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Practices: A Systematic Narrative Review
Literature Review published by Maternal & Child Nutrition in
This narrative review describes the effect of interventions distributing home fortification products like micronutrient powders and small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements on infant and young child feeding practices.
The Effect of Oral Iron Supplementation on Gut Microbial Composition: A Secondary Analysis of a Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial Among Cambodian Women of Reproductive Age
Journal Article published by Microbiol Spectr in
This study is a secondary analysis of a double-blind, randomized controled trial of oral iron supplementation in Cambodian women of reproductive age, which examined the effects of two oral iron supplements of differing bioavailability—ferrous sulfate or ferrous bisglycinate- or placebo on the gut microbiome.