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A randomised trial in Mali of the effectiveness of weekly iron supplements given by teachers on the haemoglobin concentrations of schoolchildren

Hall, Andrew and Roschnik, Natalie and Ouattara, Fatimata and Toure, Idrissa and Maiga, Fadima and Sacko, Moussa and Moestue, Helen and Bendech, Mohamed Ag (2002) A randomised trial in Mali of the effectiveness of weekly iron supplements given by teachers on the haemoglobin concentrations of schoolchildren. Public Health Nutrition, 5 (3). pp. 413-419. ISSN 1368-9800

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/PHN2001327

Abstract

Objective: To assess the effect on the haemoglobin concentrations of schoolchildren of weekly iron tablets administered by teachers. Design: Sixty schools were randomly assigned to two groups: in 30 schools children were given weekly for 10 weeks a tablet providing 65 mg of iron and 0.25 mg of folic acid; in the other 30 schools no iron tablets were given. All children were dewormed and given vitamin A before the study began. The haemoglobin concentration of up to 20 randomly selected children in each school was estimated before and 2 weeks after the end of treatment. Setting: Rural community schools in Kolondieba district of Mali. Subjects: Some 1113 schoolchildren aged 6-19 years with a mean of 11.4 years. Results: The haemoglobin concentration of treated children rose on average by 1.8 g l -1 (P < 0.001) and the prevalence of anaemia fell by 8.2% (P < 0.001); in untreated children the haemoglobin concentration fell by an average of 22.7 g l -1 (P < 0.001) and the prevalence of anaemia rose by 9.4% (P < 0:001). The fall in haemoglobin concentration among untreated girls of 24.0 g l21 was greater than in untreated boys (20.3 g l -1 (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Weekly iron tablets given by teachers prevented a general fall in the haemoglobin concentrations of untreated children, and led to a small but statistically significant rise among treated children (P < 0.001). Young children benefited more than children aged </=12 years, and girls benefited more than boys.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Online ISSN 1475-2727
Uncontrolled Keywords:Mali, Anaemia, Iron supplements, Schoolchildren, Teachers
Research Community:University of Westminster > Life Sciences, School of
ID Code:2377
Deposited On:05 Jul 2006
Last Modified:11 Aug 2010 15:31

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