Effect Of Joint Iron And Zinc Supplementation On Malarial Infection And Anaemia

  • M Saaka
  • J Oosthuizen
  • S Beatty
Keywords: malaria parasitaemia, iron-zinc supplementation, Ghana, double-blind, sulfadoxin-pyrimethamine (SP), iron-deficiency anaemia, serum ferritin


Objective: In spite of interventions being put in place to reduce the burden of maternal anaemia and malaria in Ghana, they continue to impact negatively on pregnancy outcomes. It is unclear whether there are some other factors that limit the effectiveness of these interventions. The aim of this study was to explore whether there are benefits associated with the addition of zinc to the routine malaria chemoprophylaxis, iron and folic acid intervention package for pregnant women in Ghana.
Design: A double-blind, randomised controlled trial (RCT) conducted in the Upper West Region of Ghana.
Results: Iron-zinc supplementation reduced the risk of increased malaria parasitaemia associated with high maternal serum ferritin and Hb concentrations. Iron-zinc supplementation was associated with reduced malaria parasite densities, F (1, 20) = 4.744, p = 0.042. Iron and
zinc provided in the ratio of 1:1 prevented a significant decline in maternal iron stores of pregnant women. Adjusted geometric mean serum
ferritin concentration in the Iron-zinc Group was significantly higher than in the Control Group (22.9 fg/L versus 16.9 fg/L), F (1, 156) =
6.336, p = 0.013
Conclusions: Joint iron and zinc supplementation appears to be a better option than iron-only supplementation in malaria-endemic areas.

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eISSN: 0856-8960