One in every three Nigerian women suffers from iron deficiency, this is according to a new survey conducted by the Nutrition Society of Nigeria.
According to the NSN President, Prof. Ngozi Nnam, as reported by Punch, the survey also estimated that about 49 per cent of women of reproductive age have anaemia, 24.3 per cent have low iron levels, while 12.7 per cent of them are iron-deficient.
Nnam, who made this known at a briefing organised by Unilever Nigeria, said though many health conditions cause anaemia, evidence has shown that 50 per cent of the cases are due to iron deficiency; while adolescent girls and pregnant women are the most susceptible.
She said pregnant women, teenage girls and women of reproductive age were the most vulnerable to iron deficiency anaemia because they need a lot of iron, adding that "increasing iron intake during adolescence, preparatory to pregnancy, is crucial to decreasing the risk of iron deficiency anaemia and negative birth outcomes"
She also called for national policy that would ensure that many foods produced and consumed in the country are fortified with iron.
Dr. Folake Samuel, speaking on the program being sponsored by Unilever said preliminary research findings show that although many Nigerian women are aware of the benefits of eating iron rich-foods, many of them do not eat it.
She also said many erroneously attributed a woman's being pale to pregnancy, whereas it was really an indicator of being anaemic.