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We are working to improve precision in clinical and public health interventions geared towards reduction of anaemia in women and girls through the use of diagnostics.

0.5 billion women

15–49 years of age worldwide affected by anaemia (estimation)

30% of all women

15–49 years of age are affected by anaemia

For US$ 1 invested

in reducing anaemia in women, US$ 12 in economic returns could potentially be produced

Anaemia, particularly iron deficiency anaemia (IDA), is a significant public health concern, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

In many LMICs, a combination of factors like inadequate nutrition, limited access to healthcare, and high prevalence of infections like malaria and parasitic diseases contribute to a higher burden of anaemia among adolescent girls. However, diagnosing the specific cause of anaemia is crucial for appropriate treatment. While most anaemia in girls results from iron deficiency, supplementation without proper diagnosis can be detrimental. For instance, in regions with high prevalence of sickle cell disease, iron supplementation can worsen symptoms, and in areas with high prevalence of thalassaemia, blanket supplementation does not improve outcomes.

Accurate diagnosis not only guides appropriate treatment for individual cases, but also improves current strategies for prevention and treatment in women and girls on a larger scale. By identifying the specific cause of anaemia, such as iron deficiency, sickle cell disease, or thalassaemia, healthcare providers can:

  • Tailor treatment plans: This ensures women and girls receive the most effective and targeted interventions, avoiding potential risks associated with inappropriate supplementation.
  • Target public health initiatives: By understanding the most prevalent causes of anaemia in specific regions, public health efforts can be targeted towards those causes, such as improving access to fortified foods or implementing malaria control programs.
  • Monitor progress and effectiveness: Accurate diagnosis allows for effective monitoring of treatment success and program effectiveness, which can inform future interventions and resource allocation.

Women's Health programme

We are working to enhance access to high-quality, affordable, and reliable diagnostic services for women and girls.