|Title||A randomised trial in Mali of the effectiveness of weekly iron supplements given by teachers on the haemoglobin concentrations of schoolchildren|
|Authors||Hall, A., Roschnik, N., Ouattara, F., Toure, I., Maiga, F., Sacko, M., Moestue, H. and Bendech, M.A.|
Objective: To assess the effect on the haemoglobin concentrations of schoolchildren of weekly iron tablets administered by teachers.
Design: Sixty schools were randomly assigned to two groups: in 30 schools children were given weekly for 10 weeks a tablet providing 65 mg of iron and 0.25 mg of folic
acid; in the other 30 schools no iron tablets were given. All children were dewormed and given vitamin A before the study began. The haemoglobin concentration of up to
20 randomly selected children in each school was estimated before and 2 weeks after the end of treatment.
Setting: Rural community schools in Kolondieba district of Mali.
Subjects: Some 1113 schoolchildren aged 6-19 years with a mean of 11.4 years.
Results: The haemoglobin concentration of treated children rose on average by 1.8 g l -1 (P < 0.001) and the prevalence of anaemia fell by 8.2% (P < 0.001); in
untreated children the haemoglobin concentration fell by an average of 22.7 g l -1 (P < 0.001) and the prevalence of anaemia rose by 9.4% (P < 0:001). The fall in haemoglobin concentration among untreated girls of 24.0 g l21 was greater than in untreated boys (20.3 g l -1 (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Weekly iron tablets given by teachers prevented a general fall in the haemoglobin concentrations of untreated children, and led to a small but statistically
significant rise among treated children (P < 0.001). Young children benefited more than children aged </=12 years, and girls benefited more than boys.
|Keywords||Mali, Anaemia, Iron supplements, Schoolchildren, Teachers|
|Journal||Public Health Nutrition|
|Journal citation||5 (3), pp. 413-419|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1079/PHN2001327|