Anaemia, growth and development

MABS clinic, weighing babyWorms have known effects on anaemia – some worms, such as hookworm, directly cause blood loss.  And it has been proposed that worm infections may also impair growth and mental development.  We expected that treating worms during pregnancy would result in improvements in maternal anaemia, and in birth weight for the children, and perhaps also cognitive development in the children.  Surprisingly, this was not generally the case.  Only albendazole treatment in mothers with moderate to heavy hookworm infection (which was uncommon) showed some benefit for maternal anaemia (Muhangi et al 2007; Ndibazza et al 2010).

Other infections, especially malaria and HIV, had more important effects on anaemia, growth and development in EMaBS.

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