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Recognizing the Complexity of Anaemia in Bangladesh

Data in Bangladesh leads to a rethinking of its current policies and programs

Event Location

In Bangladesh, the National Micronutrient Survey and Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2011 have reported relatively high rates of anaemia among several demographic groups. Yet, the surveys also showed that only a third of the anaemia could be associated with iron deficiency.  These lower levels of iron deficiency could be due to several other factors, such as iron in groundwater, genetic red blood cell disorders, and other micronutrient deficiencies.  The low prevalence of iron deficiency has called into question the appropriateness and relevance of Bangladesh’s existing anaemia-related policies, guidelines, and iron supplementation programmes.

In July 2016, nutrition, maternal child health, and family planning colleagues from Bangladesh’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with support from UNICEF, GAIN, MI, HKI and several other partners, held a National Anaemia Consultation. The consultation aimed to draw out the causes of anaemia in Bangladesh, review existing programmes and guidelines, identify data and research gaps, and propose the way forward.

In this AREA community of practice webinar we learned from Bangladesh’s experience on how the process unfolded, the recommendations that were made, and the plans to adapt global guidance to meet country specific needs. Speakers presented perspectives from the government, academia, and UNICEF.

Recognizing the Complexity of Anaemia in Bangladesh and Developing Effective Strategies through National Consultation (PDF, 992 KB)

Offline Questions and Answers (PDF, 98 KB)


  1. Ireen Akhter Chowdhury, Nutrition Officer (Micronutrients)  UNICEF Bangladesh: Situation of Anaemia in Bangladesh

  2. Professor Nazma Shaheen, Director, Institute of Nutrition and Food Science, Bangladesh:  Program and Policy implications from the consultation.

  3. Rae Galloway, Independent Consultant: Outcomes from the National  Anemia Consultation in Bangladesh