The Accelerated Reduction Effort on Anaemia (AREA) Community of Practice (COP), facilitated by the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) and moderated by the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID’s) SPRING project, was launched in June 2015. The AREA COP provides a unique opportunity to connect with other professionals and stay abreast of the latest developments in anemia-related research, policy, and implementation. Since the AREA COP’s creation in May 2015, it has grown to more than 750 members from over 65 countries. The COP webinar series presents cutting-edge and timely topics to members based on their feedback and the latest happenings in the field.
On April 18, 2017, the COP hosted its sixth webinar, Reviewing Hemoglobin Thresholds for the Determination of Anaemia. Dr. Sant-Rayn Pasricha presented the ongoing work conducted alongside the World Health Organization that will inform new guidelines for how hemoglobin thresholds should be used and interpreted to detect and diagnose anemia. The slides and recording are available online. In addition to hosting webinars, the COP disseminates anemia-related vacancy and conference announcements, recent publications, and reports, many of which are then discussed among members. On average, the COP circulates six discussion topics per month, which aim to keep members abreast of the science and programming behind multi-sectoral anemia control. In the last six months, the following were some of the topics that were shared among the group:
- Members who are part of the USAID Anemia Task Force provided information on the discussions and resources shared during the last meetings
- The annual AREA CoP Community Effectiveness Survey was circulated among members to seek feedback on how to best serve the needs of the community. Almost 80 members provided feedback, which was then reported back to the community.
- The World Health Organization extended an invitation to AREA CoP members to participate in an online consultation to define the scope and outline of a WHO Policy Brief on weekly iron and folic acid supplementation (WIFS).
- An informative debate was held among members on the effectiveness and relevance of current vitamin A supplementation programs, which ultimately play a role in anemia control.
- A brief on the programmatic implications of the BRINDA project was shared with members. The brief aimed to bridge the gap between science and programming.
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