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Nutritional anemia: its understanding and control with special reference to the work of the World Health Organization.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1979 Feb; 32(2):368-417.Since 1949, the World Health Organization, recognizing the public health importance of nutritional anemia, has sponsored efforts directed towards its understanding and control. During this period, often as a result of the work of the Organization, advances have been made in many areas. Basic understanding of iron, folate, and vitamin B12 nutrition, and the various factors which may influence the availability and requirements of these factors, has greatly increased. Surveys in a number of countries have highlighted the widespread prevalence of nutritional anemia, particularly in developing countries. The major factor responsible is a deficiency of iron, with folate deficiency also playing a role in some population groups, especially in pregnant women. There is increasing evidence that anemia adversely affects the health of individuals and may have profound socioeconomic consequences. Control of nutritonal anemia is possible by providing the deficient nutrient(s) either as therapeutic supplements or by fortification of commonly used foodstuffs. Some control programs are reviewed and suggestions for further action are outlined. The Organization still has an important role to play in this field, encouraging the development of control programs and providing advice and technical assistance to member countries. (author's)
Indian Journal of Medical Research. October 1978; 68(Suppl):80-87.Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies were made to assess vitamin nutritional status of women using oral contraceptives (OCs). In the cross-sectional study, data obtained on 20 women, who had used Ovulen 50 for 6-12 months, were compared with data obtained on matched controls who had never used OCs. In the longitudinal study, 23 women were examined initially (before OC use) and again at 1 or more points during the next 6 months of OC use. Changes were found in several parameters of nutrition tested. 1) OC use produced a highly significant rise in plasma vitamin A within 1 month of treatment. 2) Thiamine activity measurements showed a slight fall, but did not affect the TPP effect, suggesting that OCs did not seriously alter thiamine status. 3) Erythrocyte riboflavin concentration showed a fall, revealing a very high incidence (> 80%) of biochemical riboflavin deficiency in women before starting OCs which was further reduced after treatment. 4) There was a marked rise in urinary excretion of xanthuremic and kynurenic acids after a standard tryptophan load, indicating impaired tryptophan metabolism due to pyridoxine deficiency. 5) Erythrocyte folate levels showed a small but significant fall. These observations on Indian women belonging to low income groups show clearly that OC use does affect the vitamin economy of the body adversely. Biochemical evidence presented argues that OCs alter vitamin economy through rise in levels of some proteins which bind vitamins. Vitamin supplements are recommended not only for patient benefit but for program acceptability.
Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, June 1976. (Syncrisis, The Dynamics of Health No. 18) 149 pThere is no sector of Pakistani life which more graphically reflects the great sacrifice it took to make Pakistan a viable state than the health sector. Malaria, tuberculosis, and cholera continue to constitute threats to health. Gastrointestinal, infectious, and other parasitic diseases continue to contribute substantially to morbidity and mortality. These diseases are exacerbated by extremely primitive water supplies and waste disposal, bad housing, nutritional problems, and an increasingly heavy population growth. Public health resources to cope with these conditions have not previously been available. Pakistan's poor helth environment appears to result from widespread infectious and communicable diseases, poverty, and sociocultural attitudes which inhibit improving the environment, and ineffective policies administered by limited numbers of inadequately trained health workers, affecting both the urban poor and the rural population. In the latest 5-year plan, the 5th, 1975-1980, there is increasing attention to health. Regarding family planning, it has been suggested that the government has finally begun to recognize that urgent and dramatic steps are necessary to reduce Pakistan's population growth rate. The government has adopted a policy of using conventional contraceptives as the most acceptable method of contraception in Pakistan. A program of distributing the oral contraceptive without medical or paramedical constraints had been instituted, and the government has undertaken to subsidize the distribution of th oral contraceptive and the condom through some 50,000 outlets at 2.5 cents per monthly supply.