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Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation as a Tool to Reduce Anemia among Primary School Children in Cambodia

Philippe Longfils , Ung Kim Heang , Hay Soeng , Muth Sinuon
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2005.tb00160.x S139-S145 First published online: 1 December 2005

Abstract

The prevalence of anemia decreased from 62% to 12% and from 57% to 26% in children 5 to 11 years of age in two rural primary schools in Kampot Province, Cambodia, after oral weekly supplementation with iron-folic acid tablets for 20 weeks and with vitamin A and mebendazole twice per year. In 12-to 15-year-old children, success was less marked. The prevalence of hookworm infestation did not change, but the number of eggs in the stool decreased drastically. The intervention had no significant influence on stunting and wasting. An integrated community approach including mass deworming, health education, and multi-micronutrient supplementation was very effective in reducing anemia in Cambodian schoolchildren and should be adopted on a larger scale.

  • anemia
  • hemoglobin concentration
  • stunting
  • wasting
  • age determination
  • parasites

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