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
Iron and/or folic acid fortification legislation
Delayed cord clamping
Dietary diversity for complementary feeding
Micronutrient powders for children
Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) for household use
| Indoor residual spraying
National policy on sanitation
IPTp for pregnant women
Malaria diagnosis and treatment
Deworming for children
Deworming for pregnant women
| 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.
Not enough women are taking IPTp to prevent malaria during pregnancy (23%, 2011-2012)
Infants and Young Children
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.
In 2011-2012, 39% of children 6-23 months of age consumed foods rich in iron
Women and Adolescent Girls
For women and adolescent girls, IFA supplements and deworming help prevent anemia. Family planning delays the age at first birth.
More than one-third (35%) of married adolescent girls expressed an unmet need for family planning (2011-2012)
In households, improving basic hygiene and sanitation practices reduces the risk of infection and can help prevent anemia.
Nearly one third (31%) of all households had a place to wash hands. Among these households, only 30% had water and soap available at hand washing stations (2011-2012)
Institut National de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Économique (INSAE) et ICF International. 2013. Enquête Démographique et de Santé du Bénin 2011-2012. Calverton, Maryland, USA: INSAE et ICF International.
Institut National de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Économique (INSAE) [Bénin] et Macro International Inc. 2007. Enquête Démographique et de Santé (EDSB-III) - Bénin 2006. Calverton, Maryland, USA: Institut National de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Économique et Macro International Inc.
Institut National de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Économique (INSAE) et ORC Macro. 2002. Enquête Démographique et de Santé au Bénin 2001. Calverton, Maryland, USA: Institut National de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Économique et ORC Macro.
Profile prepared September 2015.