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Anaemia affects 840 million women, children globally – WHO

The World Health Organisation has classified anaemia as a serious global public health problem, affecting 571 million women and 269 million young children worldwide.

Anaemia may be caused by nutrient deficiencies through inadequate diets or inadequate absorption of nutrients, infections, inflammation, chronic diseases, gynaecological and obstetric conditions, and inherited red blood cell disorders.

The researchers led by said Phillip Obasohan at the School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, the United Kingdom, and the Department of Liberal Studies, College of Administrative and Business Studies, Niger State Polytechnic, Bida, said that with the WHO standard classification of anaemia prevalence, every state in Nigeria has severe anaemia status among children aged 6–59 months.

In 2019, anaemia affected 40% of children between six months and five years of age, 37 per cent of pregnant women, and 30 per cent of women 15–49 years of age. It is most prevalent in low- and middle-income countries.

According to WHO, a new framework sets forth ways to address the direct causes, risk factors, and broad social inequities that are fundamental drivers of anaemia. It describes the necessary comprehensive approach that brings together multiple sectors and actors and lays out key action areas to improve the coverage and uptake of interventions

Acknowledging that health remains the predominant sector for delivering many of the recommended interventions, the framework also proposes actions that other societal stakeholders can take.

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