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Nutr Rev. 2005 Dec;63(12 Pt 2):S81-6.

Implementing preventive iron-folic acid supplementation among women of reproductive age in some Western Pacific countries: possibilities and challenges.

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Division of Communication and Behavioral Science, Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University at Salaya, Phuthamonthon 4 Rd., Nakorn Phathom 73170, Thailand.


Lack of effective implementation mechanisms is identified as a major obstacle in the prevention and control of iron-deficiency anemia. This paper discusses experiences gained from implementing iron-folic acid supplementation in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The understanding of contextual elements is proposed as a foundation for planning interventions. Moreover, it is suggested that a social marketing framework should provide a way of thinking about how to influence related behaviors. The application of a social marketing framework applied using a "5 P's" approach: public relations and collaboration, product, price, place, and promotion, is described, as well as enabling factors (possibilities) and inhibiting factors (challenges) of this approach. Although a program to improve iron nutrition among women of reproductive age may not be simple to implement, it is essential to enhancing health, human development, and economic advancement in developing countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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