Anemia has substantial negative effects on the health and economic wellbeing of nations and communities. Children with anemia experience irrevocable cognitive and developmental delays and exhibit decreased worker productivity as adults.1 Globally, maternal anemia increases the risk of pre-term delivery and low birth weight, and iron-deficiency anemia underlies 115,000 maternal deaths and 591,000 perinatal deaths each year.2
Status of Policies or Strategies to Support Reductions in Anemia*
| IFA for pregnant women|
IFA for women of reproductive age
IFA for adolescent girls
Micronutrient powders for children
Indoor residual spraying
National policy on sanitation
N/A IPTp for pregnant women1
Malaria diagnosis and treatment
| Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) for household use|
Deworming for children
Deworming for pregnant women
Iron and/or folic acid fortification legislation
Dietary diversity for complementary feeding
| no policy|
| policy in place |
In pregnancy, infections are a key cause of anemia and can be prevented by sleeping under a bednet and taking intermittent preventive treatment (IPTp) for malaria and deworming pills. Anemia can also be prevented by taking iron folic acid (IFA) supplements.
31% of pregnant women in Bangladesh attended 4+ ANC visits
For infants and young children, delayed cord clamping, sleeping under a bednet, and exclusive breastfeeding reduce the risk of becoming anemic.
For young children, continued breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding (including micronutrients), preventing and treating malaria, and taking deworming pills can prevent anemia and promote healthy growth.
Women and Adolescent Girls
For women and adolescent girls, IFA supplements and deworming help prevent anemia. Family planning delays the age at first birth.
17% of married adolescent girls expressed an unmet need for family planning (2014)
National Institute of Population Research and Training [Bangladesh], Mitra and Associates and ICF International. 2011. Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2013. Dhaka, Bangladesh and Calverton, Maryland, USA: Central Statistical Agency and ICF International.
National Institute of Population Research and Training [Bangladesh], Mitra and Associates and Macro International. 2007. Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2009. Dhaka, Bangladesh and Calverton, Maryland, USA: Central Statistical Agency and Macro International.
National Institute of Population Research and Training [Bangladesh], Mitra and Associates and ORC Macro. 2004. Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2005. Dhaka, Bangladesh and Calverton, Maryland, USA: Central Statistical Authority and ORC Macro.
Profile prepared September 2015.