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 (7.3%, 2010-2011)
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 2010-2011, 39% of children 6-23 months of age consumed foods rich in iron
Not enough children received deworming medication (2.6%, 2010-2011)
Women and Adolescent Girls
For women and adolescent girls, IFA supplements and deworming help prevent anemia. Family planning delays the age at first birth.
In 2010-2011, 15% of married adolescent girls expressed an unmet need for family planning
In households, improving basic hygiene and sanitation practices reduces the risk of infection and can help prevent anemia.
Over half (56%) of households had a place for hand washing. Among these households, 44 percent had soap and water available at hand washing stations (2011-2012)
Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) and ICF International. 2012. Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey 2010-11. Calverton, Maryland: ZIMSTAT and ICF International Inc.
Central Statistical Office (CSO) [Zimbabwe] and Macro International Inc. 2007. Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey 2005-06. Calverton, Maryland: CSO and Macro International Inc.
Central Statistical Office [Zimbabwe] and Macro International Inc. 2000. Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey 1999. Calverton, Maryland: Central Statistical Office and Macro International Inc.
Profile prepared September 2015.