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The Accelerated Reduction Effort on Anaemia (AREA) Community of Practice (COP), facilitated by the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) and moderated by the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID’s) SPRING project, was launched in June 2015. The AREA COP provides a unique opportunity to connect with other professionals and stay abreast of the latest developments in anemia-related research, policy, and implementation. Since the AREA COP’s creation in May 2015, it has grown to more than 800 members from over 70 countries. The COP webinar series presents cutting-edge and timely topics to members based on their feedback and the latest happenings in the field.

On April 11, 2018, the COP will host its eighth webinar, entitled ”Changing the way we think about the cost-effectiveness of addressing childhood anemia.” Dr. Steve Vosti and Emily Baker will present on a costing study conducted in rural Uganda which explored two methods of micronutrient powder distribution for addressing iron deficiency anemia in children ages 6-23 months. Presenters will review key reasons why nutrition interventions should consider cost, important costs to consider, and what emerged from the nine-month pilot in Uganda. The webinar recording and slides will be made available online for those unable to attend.

In addition to hosting webinars, the COP disseminates anemia-related vacancies, training opportunities, conference announcements, recent publications, and reports, many of which are then discussed among members. On average, the COP circulates five discussion topics per month, which aim to keep members abreast of the science and programming behind multi-sectoral anemia control. In the last six months, the following are some of the topics that were shared among the group:

  • An informative discussion was held on a shared article detailing evidence on iron safety.
  • The COP hosted a webinar on using the FAO/WHO Global Individual Food Consumption Data Tool to understand and plan programs to combat iron deficiency-related anemia.
  • Members engaged in a discussion on how to address high variability in HemoCue hemoglobin concentration measurement.
  • An informative debate was held among members on the effectiveness and relevance of current vitamin A supplementation programs, which ultimately play a role in anemia control.

If you are not already a member, please join us by clicking the link below. You can also reach out on Twitter: @AREAnaemia