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Anemia is the world's most common nutritional disorder, affecting more than 1.6 billion people.Although anemia can affect anyone, the majority of those affected are women of child-bearing age: in 2011, 29 percent of nonpregnant women worldwide (496 million people) and 38 percent of pregnant women (32.4 million people) aged 15-49 were anemic. We began by developing several intervention packages, each involving some combination of nutritionally sufficient lunch meals, iron-folic acid (IFA) supplements and nutrition-based behavior-change counseling (BCC). We then tested these solutions over a 10-month period on 1,310 women aged 18-42 working in four ready-made garment factories (eight in 10 female garment workers in Bangladesh suffer from anemia). Intermittent doses of IFA supplements reduced the prevalence of anemia in menstruating women by 27 percent.Among the second set of women, who received the regular BCC module and no other interventions, anemia actually increased by 6 percent.
Killing a silent killer of women: Anemia
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