DHAKA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- At least three out of each five children under two years of age in Bangladesh suffer from anemia, a blood condition in which the red blood cells are deficient in hemoglobin, resulting in poor health.
According to a couple of studies done by the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), the health and population research center, the prevalence of anemia was recorded 64 percent among young children between 12-23 months, while this number goes as high as nearly 80 percent among infants aged under one year, national news agency BSS reported on Sunday.
The main factors that are contributing to the high number of anemic children in Bangladesh are poverty, poor dietary intake, sanitation and malnutrition. But the ignorance of mothers about supplementary feeding has a great role to compounding the problem.
The monthly health and science bulletin of ICDDR,B said usually Bangladeshi mothers start providing rice-based supplementary food to their babies along with breastmilk after three months of age. But only a microscopic number of them have the knowledge that these rice-based food lack both iron and protein, two vital factors to block anemia.
According to studies, early childhood anemia adversely affects growth, immunity and cognitive development. Then problem, which is acute in developing countries like Bangladesh, is mainly thought to be linked with nutrition, but public health researchers have many more issues to intervene to save future generations.