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Distribution of iron supplements through the work place

Authors:

Rohini De A. Seneviratne ,

University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo-08, LK
About Rohini
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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Dulitha Fernando,

University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo-08, LK
About Dulitha
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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H. M. S. S. D. Herath

Ministry of Health, LK
About H. M. S. S. D.
Public Health Consultant
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Abstract

Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is a recognized public health problem in Sri Lanka. IDA in working women has been shown to affect their work performance and work productivity. This study was carried out to assess the feasibility of using the workplace for iron supplementation through assessment of opinion of management by holding discussions; attitudes and opinion of women workers using focus group discussions (FGD); and existing health and welfare facilities in the industries in the Free Trade Zones (Investment Promotion Zones) and in the Colombo city, by survey.

 

Rapid assessment procedures (RAP) were used The discussion held with the private sector industries showed that the attitude of the management to on-site iron supplementation was positive. Several industries had existing health and welfare programmes and they could be used with minimal increase of the cost. A concern of the management was that on site supplementation should not cause side effects, which would affect production.

 

The existing welfare packages included: provision of free (63%) and subsidized (16.3%) meals; iron (8%) and vitamin (8%) supplements at work; and worm treatment (7%). Overall, 17.7% of women workers surveyed were observed to benefit from iron supplementation.

 

The FGDs showed the level of knowledge on IDA and its prevention to be unsatisfactory among women workers. There was a need to develop effective IEC material for the workers and the management. Control of IDA in the private sector workplace could be a useful and effective option that may be worthwhile pursuing.
How to Cite: De A. Seneviratne, R., Fernando, D. & Herath, H.M.S.S.D., (1999). Distribution of iron supplements through the work place. Ceylon Journal of Medical Science. 42(2), pp.75–86. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjms.v42i2.4879
Published on 28 Dec 1999.
Peer Reviewed

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