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Micronutrient profile of children and women in rural Bangladesh: study on available data for iron and vitamin A supplementation
Authors: Rahman M.
Source: East African Journal of Public Health , 6(1):102-7.
Topic(s): Child health
Iron supplements
Vitamin A
Women's health
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2009
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Micronutrient deficiencies are so important to public health outcomes, particularly in the developing world, that a series of global goals have been established, and significant amounts of donor and national funds have been directed at them. OBJECTIVES: This paper makes an attempt to compile the micronutrient profile of children and mothers (available data on vitamin A and iron supplementation) in rural Bangladesh and to identify the factors influencing with respect to these micronutrients intake. METHODOLOGY: To reach our goal Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey of 2004 data for last five years (N = 3329) has been used. Descriptive and multivariate logistic regression methods were employed in analyzing the data. RESULTS: It is observed that only 64% of targeted children had received vitamin A dose in the six months preceding the survey and overall, 14% and 45% mothers received a postpartum vitamin A dose and iron tablets. The study elucidates that the rate of receiving vitamin A dose by children lower in Barisal division than among other five divisions. Inequalities were observed in receiving vitamin A and iron supplementation, regarding household quality and assets index. The proportion of receiving vitamin A dose by children and intake of iron by mothers was found higher living in the upper quality houses. Middle aged mothers more received iron tablet and vitamin A dose and less sufferer form from difficulty with night blindness and day light vision during pregnancy than among the adolescence and older aged mothers. Multivariate logistic regression analysis considering mothers vitamin "A" dose and iron supplementation as a dependent variable shows that higher educated women were approximately two times higher probability of receiving vitamin "A" supplement of their child than women with no education. Women whose husbands had a lower status of job were less likely to receive vitamin A dose and iron supplements. The other main contributing factors likely to affect micronutrients intake among women were mass media, mother's age at last birth, mother's and husband's education and husband occupation. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate several policy options: (a) there is need to ensure availability of iron and vitamin a supplements; (b) there is also the need for creation of awareness regarding micronutrient intake among mothers and children through programmes like mass media campaign; (d) The high-risk group such as adolescents and higher aged women need special care and the existing health management system may be strengthened to create awareness among mothers of these groups for micronutrient intake from the beginning of pregnancy; (c) it is equally important that education for women and increased cash incomes is emphasized to bring about a lasting impact on the overall nutrition status of women and children.