JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - dr. Murti Andriastuti, Sp.A (K), chairperson of the Iron Deficiency Anemia Task Force from the Indonesian Pediatrics Association, says the long-term effects of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) can disrupt the development process of children.
"The long-term effects of iron deficiency with or without anemia in children can interfere with growth and development, immune system, and brain development where cognitive functioning decreases with the degree of anemia," Murti said in Jakarta.
All this, according to her, certainly depends on the level of anemia the child suffered. Anemia can be cured, but the effects can not be changed.
"I think this issue is very relevant because Asian countries are facing the problem of Anemia, but it has not been a priority, as doctors are more concentrated on other infectious and degenerative diseases," she said.
Chief Medical Officer of Consumer Health-Head of the Global Medical Science Department Hans Griek said that if iron deficiency anemia is not treated, it can significantly affect quality and life expectancy.
According to him, Iron Deficiency Anemia has for many years been a major cause of disability in children and adolescents. Iron deficiency anemia can also cause performance degradation, impaired cognitive function, and long-term fatigue.
Prevalence of Anemia remains a major problem for global public health with the number of patients reaching up to 2.3 billion, in which 50 percent is estimated due to iron deficiency anemia.
Southeast Asia and Africa continues to have the highest prevalence of anemia accounting for 85 percent of the anemic sufferers being women and children.
The Global Child Health Chairperson of Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, Prof. Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta, emphasized the shocking statistics about anemia and its prevalence in Asia. Based on the map of distribution patterns of anemia in infants and children from recent estimates it is quite clear that most areas of the world affected by anemia are South Asia, South Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa.
"Numerically, if you look at the data of women of reproductive age between 15 and 49 years, the numbers are slightly more dramatic.In Southeast Asia, there are 202 million women affected by anemia whereas in the Western Pacific, there are about 100 million people, 41.8 percent of pregnant women And approximately 600 million primary school children and school-age children worldwide are people with anemia in which nearly 60 percent of pregnant women and about 50 percent of childhood cases are caused by a lack of iron, "he continued.