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Nutrition disorders can be caused by an insufficient intake of food or of certain nutrients, or by an inability of the body to absorb and use nutrients, or by overconsumption of certain foods. Examples of such disorders include obesity, which is caused by excess energy intake; anaemia caused by insufficient intake of iron and impaired sight because of inadequate intake of vitamin A. Nutritional disorders can be particularly serious in children, since they interfere with growth and development, and may predispose them to many health problems, such as infection and chronic diseases.
Major nutritional disorders in Tanzania are:

• Nutritional anaemia (deficiency of iron, folic acid and vitamin B12)
• Iodine deficiency disorders
• Vitamin A deficiency
• Protein-energy malnutrition (deficiency of carbohydrates, fats, protein)

Anaemia is a condition characterised by low haemoglobin concentration, clinically recognised by pallor. It is commonly caused by:

• Nutritional deficiency of iron or folate.
• Chronic systemic diseases such as HIV, TB, malignancy.
• Blood loss (bleeding/haemorrhage) e.g. caused by parasites, ulcers, tumours, abnormal menstruation.

Risk Factors

• Vitamin B12 deficiency.
• Infiltration or replacement of the bone marrow.
• Abnormal Hb or red cells.
• Haemolysis.

Signs and symptoms

Diagnostic criteria


• Hb less than


• 12gm/dl or 11g/dl in pregnancy


• 13g/dl

Children 1–5 years of age

• 10g/dl

Children >5 years of age

• 11g/dl

Children < 5 years of age:

• Anaemia is most often due to iron deficiency (See iron deficiency Anaemia).

Children > 5 years of age and Adults:

• Request a full blood count.
• If MCV is normal (normocytic), then systemic disease is the most likely cause.
• If MCV is low (microcytic), then iron deficiency is the most likely cause.
• If MCV is high (macrocytic), then folate and/or vitamin B12 deficiency is the most likely cause.



  • Non-pharmacological

  • Pharmacological


Updated on,

20 Novemba 2020 10:01:52


    1. STG
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