Benin and Vietnam (Contact: Claudia Schauer; Planning Stage)
In developing countries of Asia and Africa prevalence of anemia ranges from 45 to 76% and weaning infants, adolescent girls and women of reproductive age (WRA) are at particular risk. The etiology of anemia in both Benin and Vietnam is multifactorial thereby, necessitating interventions to address multiple causes of anemia to achieve the desired results.
We are evaluating a combination of interventions to reduce iron deficiency and anemia in Benin and Vietnam. In each country we will test iron cooking pots as well as one dietary intervention, (Sprinkles) and one public health intervention (anti-helminth).
Phase I: Field-based qualitative research will be carried out to determine which interventions are most acceptable and affordable. In addition, a lab-based study will be conducted to determine the increase in iron content and to estimate bioavailability of iron from typical weaning foods and traditional family foods cooked in various forms of iron or steel pots, or with iron or steel bars placed in aluminum pots, using in vitro methods. This study will be a community-based trial. Communities will be randomized to one of the three study arms. Within each community in arm A and arm B, households (Vietnam) and households or compounds (Benin) will be randomly selected. The participants in arm A and B will receive pots (test type steel or iron pot, or aluminum pot fitted with steel or iron bar). They will be asked to use only these pots for cooking relevant food. The duration of the intervention will be 6 months. They will also receive anti-helminths. In addition, weaning children will receive sprinkles (iron or placebo). Arm C is the control group.
PHASE II: The most promising and cost-effective intervention identified will be scaled up in Phase II. 100,000 individuals will be reached in each country through the scaling up process.