WHO Launches Framework to Tackle Anemia among Children and Women

May 15, 2023

In an aim to reduce anemia among children and women, World Health Organization has launched a new framework to half its prevalence by 2050.

Taking a different path from the previous work-frames, the new framework will tackle the direct causes, risk factors, and broad social inequities that are fundamental drivers of anemia rather than focusing on the prevention and treatment of iron deficiency.

It seeks to address its multiple causes – including other nutritional deficiencies, infections, inflammation, gynecological and obstetric conditions, and inherited red blood cell disorders.

The framework was launched during the International Maternal Newborn Health Conference held between 8-11 May in Cape Town South Africa.

The framework describes the necessarily comprehensive approach that brings together multiple sectors and actors and lays out key action areas to improve the coverage and uptake of interventions

According to WHO in 2019, anemia affected 40 percent of children between 6 months and 5 years of age, 37 percent of pregnant women, and 30 percent of women between 15–49 years of age.

Anaemia increases the risk of infections and death, impairs cognitive performance, and causes extreme fatigue, poor pregnancy outcomes, loss of earnings, and poor growth and development.

The deficiency which is most prevalent in low- and middle-income countries is a strong indicator of overall health according to the organization.

The framework also proposes actions that other societal stakeholders can take to help deliver many of the recommended interventions. These include governments, civil society, academia, researchers, funding agencies, international organizations, and media.

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