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Anaemia 'can lead to low IQ'

A Staff Reporter
Filed on April 20, 2005

DUBAI - Around 31 per cent of school children and 35 per cent of pregnant women in the UAE suffer from anaemia, according to Dr Fadil Al Najjar, consultant paediatrician and neo-natologist, Al Zahra Hospital, Sharjah.


"There are several reasons for anaemia, most important and widespread being intake of food which lacks iron content. Eating this type of food over a period of time results in iron deficiency and subsequently iron deficiency anaemia," Dr Al Najjar told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of a symposium on 'Nutrition and Iron Deficiency in Children' in Sharjah.

"New studies have proved that iron deficiency and anaemia also cause delay in socio-economic development and affect the level of IQ negatively. Treating iron deficiency and anaemia is simple, give the child iron nutrients for a period of time in order to bring iron level in the blood to its normal level. The next step is to finish the iron nutrients course for another five months in order to store iron molecules in the body's storage system," Dr Al Najjar said.

The first three years of a child's life are a window of opportunity to form lifelong, healthy eating habits, Lovely Ranaganath, Dietician, Al Zahra Hospital, said, adding that breast-feeding was an important aspect which can be supplemented with various ready-made formulae and cow's milk.





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