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Flour fortification with iron and folic acid in Bushehr and Golestan provinces, Iran: Program evaluation

Author(s): J. Sadighi | K Mohammad | R Sheikholeslam | P Torabi | F Salehi | Z Abdolahi | H Pouraram

Journal: Journal of School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research
ISSN 1735-7586

Volume: 7;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Flour fortification | Iron deficiency | Anemia | Women | Iran

Background and Aim: Anemia is an important public health problem in Iran. The most prevalent type (50%) is iron-deficiency anemia. Flour fortification with iron and folic acid is one of the main strategies usually adopted to combat anemia. Two pilot projects were conducted in 2 Iranian provinces: the first one in Bushehr in 2001 and the second one in Golestan in 2007. The present study was conducted in January 2009 to evaluate the process and determine the effectiveness of the flour fortification pilot project in the 2 provinces. "nMaterials and Methods: To evaluate the effectiveness of the project, blood hemoglobin and ferritin levels were measured in a sample population of child-bearing women aged 15-49 years in Bushehr Province (n=600) and Golestan Province (n=625), selected by multi-stage sampling before and after the intervention. For process evaluation, the iron content in samples of flour and bread made from the flour were measured in a descriptive study. "nResults: We found similar trends in the indicators of anemia/iron deficiency among the women in Bushehr and Golestan provinces. The flour fortification project appears to have had beneficial effects on the serum ferritin levels (low levels indicate iron deficiency) in both provinces. The prevalence of iron deficiency decreased from 22.2% to 15.7% (p
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