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Despite noticeable progress regarding health and nutrition of children, the latest research has revealed that the levels of anaemia among women and children remain worryingly high: 38% of women and 24% of children are affected. Anaemia, though easily preventable and treatable, is one of the most serious threats to the health of children and a factor in maternal mortality. Anaemia can have negative effects on the growth and development of children and their learning skills, as well as causing cognitive disorders. The research points to a nutritional problem which is mainly related to iron deficiency: with one of the key causes of such deficiencies in children being low breastfeeding rates. Mother´s milk contains iron that is easy for babies to absorb, while iron in supplements is less easily absorbed. Nevertheless, only 12% of mothers[i] exclusively breastfeed their infants during the first six months of their lives. The majority of young mothers and medical staff seem to be unaware of the importance of breastfeeding in preventing anaemia. Another main reason for high iron deficiency levels is that basic food items do not contain the necessary levels of iron to meet needs of the human body. Flour fortification could solve this problem but currently there are no regulations that make this technique compulsory for flour producers in Azerbaijan




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