Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine
Iron supplementation during malaria infection in pregnancy and childhood: A review

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    Malaria presents a significant global public health challenge, with severe malarial anaemia being a primary manifestation of the disease. The understanding of anaemia caused by malaria remains incomplete, making the treatment more complex. Iron is a crucial micronutrient essential for haemoglobin synthesis, oxygen delivery, and other vital metabolic functions in the body. It is indispensable for the growth of human beings, as well as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses in vitro and in vivo. Iron deficiency is among the most common nutritional deficiencies and can have detrimental effects during developmental stages of life. Malaria-induced iron deficiency occurs due to the hemolysis of erythrocytes and the suppression of erythropoiesis, leading to anaemia. Meeting iron requirements is particularly critical during pivotal life stages such as pregnancy, infancy, and childhood. Dietary intake alone may not suffice to meet adequate iron requirements, thus highlighting the vital role of iron supplementation. While iron supplementation can alleviate iron deficiency, it can exacerbate malaria infection by providing additional iron for the parasites. However, in the context of pregnancy and childhood, iron supplementation combined with malaria prevention and treatment has been shown to be beneficial in improving birth outcomes and ensuring proper growth and development, respectively. This review aims to identify the role and impact of iron supplementation in malaria infection during the life stages of pregnancy and childhood.

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Surela N, Chaudhary A, Kataria P, Das J. Iron supplementation during malaria infection in pregnancy and childhood: A review. Asian Pac J Trop Med 2024; 17(1): 12-20.

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  • Received:May 24,2023
  • Revised:January 20,2023
  • Adopted:January 23,2024
  • Online: January 29,2024
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