Journal Article

School and anaemia prevention: current reality and opportunities—a Tanzanian case study

Lillian Mwanri, Anthony Worsley and Joseph Masika

in Health Promotion International

Volume 16, issue 4, pages 321-331
Published in print December 2001 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online December 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/16.4.321
School and anaemia prevention: current reality and opportunities—a Tanzanian case study

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Iron deficiency anaemia is highly endemic in rural areas of Tanzania and in many developing countries. Its prevention among school children requires greater dissemination of knowledge of anaemia among children, teachers, parents and the general community. Associated improvements in the hygienic status of domestic and school environments are also often required. One-hundred-and-thirty-one anaemic children, 90 parents and 76 teachers were interviewed to ascertain their understanding of anaemia. Most children and parents had little knowledge of the symptoms, causes and prevention of anaemia. In addition to their iron-deficient diets, more than half of the children went to school without something to eat at breakfast and during school hours. However, parents and teachers were willing to work together to provide meals for the children. Poor sanitation in the children's homes and in schools was a little recognized factor which could pose a serious risk of anaemia. In addition, inadequate sanitation facilities and poor quality of physical environment prevailed both in the children's homes and in schools. The findings suggest the need for the establishment of a health-promoting schools network to provide a comprehensive framework for health promotion in schools as well as in homes in Tanzania and in other developing countries. Schools can be an ideal setting to positively influence a community's health status. Partnerships among teachers, parents and the wider community are required to identify, prioritize and ameliorate health problems.

Keywords: health-promoting schools; iron deficiency anaemia; partnerships; Tanzania

Journal Article.  5545 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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