Understanding Anemia: Guidance for Conducting a Landscape Analysis


Infection and anemia are directly and indirectly related through a number of mechanisms (Roberts 2016). Certain infections cause anemia directly by destroying red blood cells or by decreasing their production. Some infections can also cause anemia directly by blood loss, or indirectly through depletion of iron stores (see Iron Deficiency section). Anemia is also caused by several chronic conditions, including HIV and AIDS (Calis et al. 2008; Volberding et al. 2004), peptic ulcer disease, gastritis and duodenitis, chronic kidney disease, and uterine fibroids (Kassebaum et al. 2014). These chronic conditions go beyond the scope of this guidance, although some countries may want to address them in the context of anemia. The inflammation that accompanies acute infections and chronic conditions can also indirectly cause anemia (see Inflammation section).

Which key infections can cause anemia?

Interventions that address these infections

  • case management of malaria
  • deworming for schistosomiasis
  • deworming for soil-transmitted helminths
  • indoor residual spraying
  • intermittent preventive treatment during pregnancy
  • long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets.

For more information about these interventions, go to Step 4: Assess Status of Anemia Interventions.