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Anaemia

    Overview

    66顺彩票appAnaemia is a condition in which there is a reduced number of red blood cells or the haemoglobin concentration within the red blood cells is lower than normal. Haemoglobin is needed to carry oxygen and if you have too few or abnormal red blood cells, or not enough haemoglobin, there will be a decreased capacity of the blood to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. This results in symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness and shortness of breath, among others. The optimal haemoglobin concentration needed to meet physiologic needs varies by age, sex, elevation of residence, smoking habits, and pregnancy status. The most common causes of anaemia include nutritional deficiencies, particularly iron deficiency though deficiencies in folate, vitamins B12 and A are also important causes; haemoglobinopathies; and infectious diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and parasitic infections.

    66顺彩票app Anaemia is a serious global public health problem that particularly affects young children and pregnant women.  WHO estimates that 42% of children less than 5 years of age and 40% of pregnant women worldwide are anaemic.

     

     

    Impact
    • The prevalence of anaemia remains high globally, particularly in low-income settings, where a significant proportion of young children and women of childbearing age can be assumed to be anaemic. 
    • Anaemia can cause a range of symptoms including fatigue, weakness, dizziness and drowsiness.
    • Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable, with an increased risk of maternal and child mortality.
    • Iron deficiency anaemia has also been shown to affect cognitive and physical development in children and reduce productivity in adults.
    • Reduced work productivity in adults due to anaemia can have further social and economic impacts for the individual and family. 
    • While iron deficiency anaemia is the most common form and is relatively easy to treat through dietary changes, other forms of anaemia require less accessible health interventions.
    • Accurate characterisation of anaemia is critical to understand the burden and epidemiology of this problem, for planning public health interventions, and for clinical care of people across the life course.

     

    WHO response

    Globally, nutrition, disease and genetic haemoglobin disorders are the three main contributors to anaemia. An understanding of the unique determinants of anaemia in a particular setting is needed to in order to select the most appropriate interventions for effective action (e.g. nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, poverty alleviation, agriculture, education).

    WHO oversees several programmes across WHO Regions to help reduce the prevalence of anaemia through treatment and prevention. In 2012, the World Health Assembly Resolution 65.6 endorsed a plan to achieve a 50% reduction of anaemia in women of reproductive age by 2025, and in 2006 WHA Resolution 59.20 was passed targeting the prevention and control of sickle-cell anaemia. WHO has developed guidelines for the prevention, control and treatment of anaemia and works with Member States and their partners to reduce the prevalence of anaemia through local and national programmes.

    Interventions to address the most common causes of nutritional anaemia aim to increase dietary diversity, improve infant feeding practices, and improve the bioavailability and intake of micronutrients, through fortification or supplementation with iron, folic acid and other micronutrients. Social and behaviour-change communication strategies may also be used to change nutrition-related behaviours and practices.

    Additional interventions to address the underlying and basic causes of anaemia require input from a wide range of sectors, including disease control (e.g. malaria, intestinal helminths), water, sanitation and hygiene, reproductive health, intersectoral strategies that address root causes such as poverty, lack of education and gender norms.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) started in 2016 a five-year project to review its global guidelines for haemoglobin cut-offs used to define anaemia with the aim to provide global, evidence-informed recommendations on the use of haemoglobin concentrations to assess and manage anaemia in individuals and populations.

     Additional information on the prevention of anaemia can be found in Nutrition anaemias: tools for effective prevention and control.

    One-third

    anaemic women

    66顺彩票appIt is estimated that one-third of all women of reproductive age are anaemic.

    More data on women

    40%

    anaemic

    Pregnant women are 40% are anaemic.

    More date on anaemia

    Over 40%

    anaemic

    An estimated over 40% of children under 5 years of age are anaemic.

    More data
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