Reports and publications (published elsewhere)

Early Childhood Nutrition and Anaemia Prevention Project : summary report

Posted on: 2 October, 2013
Issue: Vol 13 No 4, October 2013 - December 2013
Related to Nutrition Growth Infants and young children Research Northern Territory Queensland Western Australia

Aquino D, Marley JV, Senior K, Leonard D, Helmer J, Joshua A, Huddleston A, Ferguson H, Hobson V, Hadgraft N (2013)
Early Childhood Nutrition and Anaemia Prevention Project : summary report
Darwin: The Fred Hollows Foundation, Indigenous Australia Program

The Early childhood nutrition and anaemia prevention project investigated the feasibility and acceptability of micronutrient supplementation with ‘Sprinkles’, for the prevention of childhood anaemia, along with community-based nutrition promotion. The project was implemented in six remote communities, four in the Northern Territory (NT), one in Cape York in Queensland (Qld) and one in the East Kimberley region in Western Australia (WA). Project planning and development commenced in 2006, with project activities occurring between 2010 and 2012.

‘Sprinkles’ are a home-based micronutrient fortification product. Fortification of complementary foods with iron and other vitamins and minerals using multi-micronutrient powders such as ‘Sprinkles’ have been found to reduce anaemia and iron deficiency.

This report summarises the project development, program implementation, results of the evaluation of both project processes and outcomes, and provides recommendations for future policy, programs and research addressing infant and young child nutrition and anaemia in northern Australia. Major findings from the project included:

  • high rates of anaemia seen in infants at six months indicate that preventive strategies need to start earlier
  • the relative contribution of maternal and other factors related to anaemia in infancy need to be better understood.

There were three main recommendations as a result of the project:

  • to determine if the high rates of early onset anaemia found in ENCAPP are widespread across remote communities in northern Australia and take action to address the findings
  • investigate the relative contribution of micronutrient status and other determinants of anaemia in Aboriginal infants and young children from the remote communities across northern Australia
  • investigate strategies to address the determinants of anaemia and effectively prevent anaemia and iron deficiency in Aboriginal infants and young children in remote northern Australian communities.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

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