This document deals primarily withindicators for monitoring interventions tocombat iron deficiency, including irondeficiency anaemia, but it also reviewsthe current methods of assessing andpreventing iron deficiency in the lightof recent significant scientific advances.Criteria for defining IDA, and thepublic severity of anaemia based onprevalence estimates, are provided. Approaches to obtaining dietaryinformation, and guidance in designing
national iron deficiency preventionprogrammes, are presented.
Strategies for preventing iron deficiencythrough food-based approaches, i.e.dietary improvement or modificationand fortification, and a schedule for using iron supplements to control irondeficiency and to treat mild-to-moderateiron deficiency anaemia, are discussed.For each strategy, desirable actionsare outlined and criteria are suggestedfor assessment of the intervention. Attention is given to micronutrientcomplementarities in programmeimplementation, e.g., the particularlyclose link between the improvementof iron
status and that of vitamin A.
Finally, this document recommendsaction-oriented research on the controlof iron deficiency, providing
guidancein undertaking feasibility studieson iron fortification in most countries.