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Iron folic acid (IFA) supplementation is used world over for reducing the prevalence of anemia. The objective of the present investigation is to study the sustainable effect of long term weekly Iron Folic Acid supplementation along with deworming on growth and haemoglobin status of rural school children. Method: Three schools were selected for the study. One school was a control group where no intervention was given. In the second school, weekly IFA supplementation of 60 mg elemental iron was given for 30 weeks along with 400mg Albendezole (DW) once in 6 months. In the third school only 400 mg Albendezole was given every six month. Before and after the intervention, height, weight and haemoglobin by cyanmet haemoglobin method was done. After 30 weeks supplementation of IFA+DW tablet, for 6 months no intervention was given. The washout effect of the intervention was seen on same parameters. Result: The intervention did not show sustainable effect on growth parameter. The prevalence of all the 3 anthropometric indices i.e. underweight, stunting and thinness remained unaltered with withdrawal of supplementation. In the IFA+DW supplemented group, there was a significant drop (p<0.01) in the mean Hb levels after 6 months of supplementation but after the washout effect the prevalence of anemia reverted back to the basal values. Thus weekly IFA+DW supplementation should be an ongoing programme to reduce the prevalence of IDA among school children.
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Author(s): Rachana M Bhoite and Uma M Iyer
IFA supplementation, Children, School going, Sustainable effect