Anaemia among schoolchildren; A narrative review


  • Elina Jacob Maseta Open University of Tanzania



adolescents, haemoglobin, feeding pattern, predictors, prevalence, risk factors, Sub-Saharan Africa


Anaemia is a significant problem in the developing world, such as Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with the greatest burden of disease experienced in children. Although extensive research on anaemia has been done among the pre-schoolers, less is documented about schoolchildren. Thus, the current review intends to summarise recent data on the prevalence and risk factors of anaemia among schoolchildren aged 5-18 years across SSA for planning mitigating interventions. A review was conducted on published English articles in Sub-Saharan countries providing estimates on anaemia prevalence and risk factors using databases from PubMed and Google Scholar from January 2010 to April 2021. A total of 41 articles were identified for review. Based on eligibility criteria, 18 articles were included in the current review. The review showed that the prevalence of anaemia among schoolchildren ranged from 11% (Ethiopia) to 83% (Nigeria). Generally, infection (56%), eating less protein and vegetables (33%),  age (22%)  and sex (16%) of the child were the significant risk factors for anaemia among schoolchildren. The current review established that anaemia is directly associated with infection, less consumption of protein and vegetables, age and sex of the child. Effective public health strategies such as biofortification of food are needed to improve micronutrient intake among older children.

Author Biography

Elina Jacob Maseta, Open University of Tanzania

Department of Biological and Food Sciences