Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, and less than a third of its population have access to any health care. Malnutrition remains the main cause of maternal and infant mortality and well over half of all pregnant women suffer from iron deficiency anaemia. It’s so common there’s a name for it in all the local languages – they call it ‘lack of blood’ . This Life programme follows two traditional birth attendants as they try to persuade women to take iron folate supplements and visit hospitals, which is often prohibitively expensive. The rains are late and the crops aren’t growing – the women are worried about buying food for the family. It’s malaria that is blamed for the increase in anaemia in Tanzania, where, in some areas, 93 percent of children under five suffer from the condition. Unicef believe the way forward are multimicronutrient pills which contain iron folate and other vitamins. But is this a sustainable solution for Tanzania? What happens when donors pull out of distribution programmes? And who is missing out on supplementation programmes? Young adolescent girls – the mothers of the future. Life asks why.
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