The effect of weekly iron supplementation with and without deworming on hemoglobin was investigated in a double-masked, placebo-controlled field trial. Subjects were 289 preschoolers who were randomly divided into three groups. Groups 1 and 2 received 30 mg Fe once weekly and group 3 received a placebo. Group 1 additionally received anthelminthic treatment. Supplements were administered by the mothers, who were educated about iron deficiency beforehand. In the iron-supplemented groups prevalence of anemia decreased from 37.2% to 16.2% (P < 0.001). Hemoglobin increased by an average of 6.9 ± 9.8 g/L in the two iron-supplemented groups (n = 191), which was greater (P < 0.001) than the increase of 1.9 ± 8.0 g/L in the placebo group. None of the subjects had hookworm, and anthelminthic treatment did not have an additional effect. Iron supplements administered once weekly by mothers reduced anemia without major involvement of health staff.
- anthelminthic treatment
- iron supplementation