Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Health Studies: Community Health Education and University Honors

First Advisor

Shawn Smallman

Abstract

Iron is a mineral that the human body uses to make hemoglobin, a protein that red blood cells need to carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. The lack of adequate iron in the blood is known as iron deficiency, which if experienced in greater proportions, can lead to anaemia. Iron-deficiency anaemia is generally understood as a nutritional deficiency that can be treated by diets of food rich in iron content or the ingestion of iron supplements; yet lack of information, restricted access to bioavailable iron-rich foods, minimal awareness of anaemia’s detrimental effects on children’s cognitive development, culturally inaccurate understandings of anaemia consequences, and non-compliance for the ingestion of iron pills; illuminates a greater public health issue to overcome in the developing world than simply focusing on the massive distribution of iron supplements. A holistic and culturally-driven perspective of iron-deficiency anaemia is necessary to adjust our current practices of health counseling, distribution of complete information regarding iron supplements, informed and culturally-sensitive diets, as well as ensuring the delivery of substantial programs of prevention and follow-up for iron-deficiency anaemia.

Persistent Identifier

iron, iron-deficiency anaemia, developing countries, pregnant women, cognitive development, first and second tier hospitals, multisectorial plan, culturally-sensitive.

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