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How Can We Reduce Anemia?

To do this, governments and communities must work together to implement effective interventions based upon the best information available.


Anemia Causal Pathway

ANEMIA Insufficient household food security MICRONUTRIENT DEFICIENCY INFLAMMATION Loss, destruction, or impaired production of red blood cells Inadequate maternal and child care Insufficient health services and unhealthy environment INFECTION Nutrient availability, absorption, and utilization GENETIC BLOOD DISORDERS
Adapted from the Biomarkers Reflecting Inflammation and Nutritional Deficiencies (BRINDA) Project

There are a range of interventions to address anemia, but to be effective, the intervention must match the cause.

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Disease Control

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Reproductive Health

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Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene


To reduce anemia, context is everything.

SPRING has three approaches to help understand the context and implement effective anemia interventions.

Strengthen country-led efforts »

Develop guidance tools »

Advance the global agenda »

Strengthen country-led efforts

National and local efforts should drive anemia reduction efforts to ensure that strategies are context-appropriate and sustainable. A multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach is required. SPRING has directly engaged with governments in 5 countries to combat anemia.

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Multi-sectoral Anemia Platforms Strengthening

SPRING provides technical assistance on national anemia efforts in Ghana, Kyrgyz Republic, Uganda, and Sierra Leone. This work has resulted in 51 national anemia working groups and development of strategies and protocols addressing anemia prevention and control.

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National Anemia Profiles

SPRING created snapshots of country anemia situations that can be used for advocacy and to encourage coordination of anemia efforts.

Develop guidance tools

Guidance tools equip international and national practitioners with the latest evidence and effective approaches to address anemia. SPRING has developed 3 guidance tools to support anemia reduction.

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Anemia Landscape Analysis Tool

The Understanding Anemia: Guidance for Conducting a Landscape Analysis includes a web-based and downloadable version. Thirty-four experts weighed-in to provide guidance that is up-to-date and relevant for assessing the national anemia situation.

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District Assessment Tool for Anemia

The District Tool for Anemia (DATA) provides a way to assess and prioritize anemia interventions using a participatory approach at the district level. The tool has been piloted in Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda.

Maps of countries with an assessment
A Rapid Assessment of Iron Folic Acid Supplementation

An approach that uses population-based data to assess the falter points of a country’s Iron Folic Acid supplementation program for pregnant women. Twenty-one country assessments are available.

Advance the global agenda

Collaborate with global partners to build evidence and develop stratgies that will effectively reduce anemia. SPRING has drafted 17 anemia-related journal articles.

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Anemia Research Working Groups

The HEmoglobin MEasurement (HEME) Working Group and the Biomarkers Reflecting Nutrition Determinants of Anemia (BRINDA) 2 Project are collaborative research groups to improve the assessment of anemia and its risk factors. SPRING plays an active role in both of these working groups.

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Micronutrient Interventions

Anemia is caused by multiple factors, with iron deficiency and other micronutrient deficiencies being major drivers. SPRING is strengthening the evidence base on the delivery of micronutrient powders (MNP), a key intervention for addressing vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

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USAID Anemia Task Force

The USAID Bureau for Global Health is partnering with SPRING project and MCSP to hold USAID multi-sectoral anemia task force meetings that facilitate collaboration across sectors.

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Accelerated Reduction Efforts of Anemia

The Accelerated Reduction Efforts of Anemia (AREA) Community of Practice (CoP) was started by SPRING, UNSNC, and WHO in June 2015 to share information on ways to improve and scale-up strategies to reduce anemia. The CoP has grown to 700+ stakeholders from 65+ countries.


Call to Action

  Collect accurate and comprehensive anemia-related data at the national- and district-level.

  Match interventions to the specific causes of anemia in a given context.

  Establish coordination bodies to improve multi-sectoral stakeholder engagement; the impact of multisectoral efforts is more than the sum of the impacts by each sector.

  Use guidance tools to facilitate national and district action.