Maternal morbidity and mortality and deficiency diseases: anaemia

Maternal morbidity and mortality and deficiency diseases: anaemia
2014. Women picking tea, Nuwara Eliya (Sri Lanka)  © AEEH

Maternal morbidity and mortality and deficiency diseases: anaemia

20% of all maternal deaths is linked to the presence of anaemia, especially in African countries like Nigeria and Asian ones like Bangladesh, one of the worst affected. A healthy woman can lose a litre of blood during delivery with no risk, while for an anaemic woman a loss of 150 millilitres can be fatal.

A lack of iron is a nutritional problem which prevails in men, women and children, generating concentration and learning difficulties at school and chronic fatigue in adults, whose ability to work is impaired. For workers doing piecework –such as picking tea or rubber collecting- it is a serious problem.

Already in the 1980s some companies devoted to collecting these products had started giving systematic blood tests to their employees, and, when necessary, provided treatment for anaemia so as to increase performance, salaries and productivity.

Eliminating anaemia would significantly reduce maternal deaths and rates of orphans and would improve family economies.