Reducing anaemia

Anaemia is a major health concern among women, especially pregnant ones, of developing countries like India. A serious iron deficiency can damage the health of unborn babies and their mothers. However, administering anti-malarial drugs during pregnancy has been shown to reduce the incidence of anaemia among expectant women by nearly 40 per cent. "We found that just by giving a simple straightforward treatment of two anti-malarial drugs twice during pregnancy, we could reduce the amount of anaemia,' says Caroline Shulman of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who leads a research team working in London as well as at the Kenyan Medical Research Institute. This amazingly cost-effective measure is now the official health policy wherever malaria is endemic in Kenya.