WHO calls for accelerated action to reduce anemia

May 15, 2023
New framework from WHO.

The World Health Organization launched its first-ever comprehensive framework on reducing anemia, calling on countries to accelerate action to halve anemia prevalence in women of reproductive age by 2025. Progress on reducing anemia has been slow and the world is not on track to reach the global target. Anemia is a serious global public health problem, affecting 571 million women and 269 million young children worldwide.

In 2019, anemia affected 40% of children between 6 months and 5 years of age, 37% of pregnant women and 30% of women 15–49 years of age. It is most prevalent in low- and middle-income countries. Anemia increases the risk of infections and death, impairs cognitive performance, and causes extreme fatigue, poor pregnancy outcomes, loss of earnings, and poor growth and development. It is a strong indicator of overall health.

The new framework sets forth ways to address the direct causes, risk factors and broad social inequities that are fundamental drivers for anemia. It describes the necessarily comprehensive approach that brings together multiple sectors and actors, and lays out key action areas to improve the coverage and uptake of interventions

Acknowledging that health remains the predominant sector for delivering many of the recommended interventions, the framework also proposes actions that other societal stakeholders can take. These include governments, civil society, academia, researchers, funding agencies, international organizations and media. Each has its particular role to perform in reducing anemia and keeping people healthy.

The framework is launched during the International Maternal Newborn Health Conference.

WHO release