Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation for Adolescent Girls and Women

Manual for Health Workers

A group of girls at the Odoben A.M.E. Zion missionary school in Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District, Central Region on 7 September 2016


The Girls’ Iron-Folate Tablet Supplementation (GIFTS) Programme is a public health intervention designed to provide adolescent girls with weekly iron and folic acid tablets free of charge to help prevent anaemia. 

Anaemia has been a public health problem in Ghana for several years. It is common among children, adolescent girls and women of childbearing age. Four out of ten women, and seven out of ten children below five (5) years are currently affected. Among women, those within the adolescent group are most affected with almost 5 out of 10 adolescents aged 15 to 19 years (48 per cent) being anaemic. 

Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation has been shown to be a cost-effective intervention for addressing anaemia. In Ghana, IFA supplementation has focused on pregnant women. Starting IFA supplementation for adolescent girls and continuing into adulthood improves girls’ iron status, and reduces their susceptibility to anaemia. It is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

The GIFTS Programme aims to provide once weekly Iron and Folic Acid in a combined tablet to In-school and Out-of-School adolescent girls on a fixed day.

Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation for Adolescent Girls and Women
UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control and Prevention
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