Integrated Anemia Prevention and Control
Emerging research shows an inverse relationship between taking iron-folic acid (IFA) supplements and child mortality: neonatal mortality drops as much as 50% when mothers take the recommended number of IFA supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Building on the work from USAID’s predecessor Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program, MCSP supports the roll-out of an integrated package for maternal anemia prevention and control — including IFA supplementation, intermittent preventive treatment with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine, and deworming — in line with the 2016 World Health Organization Antenatal Care Guidelines. MCSP is working with countries to address both demand and supply-side, while providing program guidance through the K4Health Integrated Anemia Prevention and Control Toolkit and exploring community-based distribution of IFA as a means to increase IFA coverage.
To advance nutrition progress, the Program studies the causes of poor nutrition and uses those results to develop recommendations and programmatic approaches to improve outcomes for women and their children. MCSP authored a nutrition brief and associated peer-reviewed article on barriers and successes of implementation of community-based distribution of IFA supplementation. In Kenya, MCSP also conducted a formative assessment to determine barriers to IFA and anemia programming. In Pakistan, the Program conducted a study to assess supply and demand for IFA supplementation and quality of infant and young child feeding counseling in Jamshoro and Thatta districts. In collaboration with the President’s Malaria Initiative, MCSP also developed a brief on integrated anemia programming for maternal anemia and malaria.