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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

FERREIRA, Maria Lúcia Matias; FERREIRA, Luiz Oscar Cardoso; SILVA, Adailton Abreu da  and  BATISTA FILHO, Malaquias. Effectiveness of weekly iron sulfate in the Family Health Program in Caruaru, Pernambuco State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.19, n.2, pp. 375-381. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2003000200004.

This study evaluates the effectiveness of an experimental project for combating anemia in children ages 6-23 months using weekly doses of iron sulfate within the Family Health Program. In 1999, the Brazilian Ministry of Health began an experimental program to combat anemia in 300,000 children from 512 municipalities in the Northeast of the country. Children received a weekly dose of 50mg of elementary iron for approximately 24 weeks. Two hundred and ninety-three children ages 6-23 months from the urban and rural areas of the municipality of Caruaru in Pernambuco State were evaluated. Before the trial, mean hemoglobin was 10.1 (± 0.98) g/dl, and 77.5% of the children were anemic. Following treatment, mean hemoglobin rose to 11.1 (± 0.87) g/dl, while the prevalence of anemia fell to 40.3%. This strategy represents a promising tool to reduce prevalence and to control severe forms of anemia in children.

Keywords : Anemia; Child Health; Effectiveness; Dietary Supplements; Ferrous Sulfate.

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