Micronutrient deficiencies among children and women in Bangladesh: progress and challenges
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This paper provides a comprehensive review of the current situation regarding micronutrient deficiencies among children and women in Bangladesh. This review also discusses the successes and current challenges of existing intervention programmes. Data from nationally representative and selected small surveys since the 1980s that have reported on the status of at least one micronutrient in children and/or women have been examined. National policy documents/reports on existing interventions have been analysed. While the severity of various micronutrient deficiencies has declined since the 1980s, a significant proportion of preschool-age children remains with deficiencies in vitamin A (20·5 %), Zn (44·5 %) and vitamin D (39·6 %); about one-third of these children are anaemic, and 10·7 % of the children are Fe deficient. A high proportion of non-pregnant and non-lactating women is deficient in Zn (57 %) and I (42 %), while one-quarter of women live with anaemia and vitamin B12 and vitamin D (21 %) deficiencies. Nearly one-half of the pregnant and lactating women are anaemic. Suboptimal diets, poor hygiene, infection and infestation are identified as some of the key factors associated with high levels of deficiencies. Multiple approaches and interventions are being supported, and while some notable progress has been achieved, significant challenges continue, including those related to coverage, quality and compliance. It is concluded that although current intervention programmes have made some progress in controlling the severe deficiencies, micronutrient deficiencies in Bangladesh remain a considerable problem. More well-integrated approaches for strengthening the existing intervention programmes are needed. In addition, new intervention strategies for alleviating and preventing specific micronutrient deficiencies are recommended.
Journal of Nutritional Science
© The Author(s) 2016. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified