Anemia and Women Smallholder Farmers
Carmine Bozzi of Akeso Associates in the U.S., along with Maurice Masoda of Heal Africa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will test the effect of treating hookworm infections in women smallholder farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo on disease prevalence, iron status, and capacity for labor over a 12-month period. Hookworm infections are endemic in many regions, and infection rates can reach 50% of the population. Hookworms reside in the intestinal wall where they mediate blood loss causing iron deficiency and anemia, which is exacerbated in women due to menstrual blood loss and iron demands during pregnancy. This anemia in turn leads to reduced aerobic work capacity, therefore successful treatment of these infections could result in significant gains in labor productivity.