MRC Festival – Amadou Jallow presents on Iron Deficiency and Anaemia

Amadou re-joined MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM in 2009 under the Nutrition Theme. He worked as a Senior Laboratory Technician doing a broad range of laboratory investigations for different projects within the Theme.

Currently Amadou is a Scientific Officer in the IHAT-GUT study, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded clinical trial looking at a novel nano-iron supplement (IHAT) to safely combat iron deficiency and anaemia. He is responsible for all the molecular biology laboratory aspects of the trial. Amadou holds a first-class Honors degree in Biomedical Science from Kingston University of London.At the MRC Festival, Amadou will be presenting on the topic Iron Deficiency and Anaemia. Anaemia can be caused by malaria, worm infestations, iron deficiency, genetic disorders, chronic diseases and inflammation, vitamin B12 folate deficiencies and other infections.

Amadou Jallow – Scientific Officer IHAT-GUT study

Anaemia affects over 2 billion people worldwide in which 50% of the cases are caused by iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, with over 4 billion people estimated to have low iron levels and 1.24 billion people estimated to suffer from iron deficiency anaemia.

In the Gambia, more than 60% of children and women of childbearing age suffer from anaemia, mostly due to iron deficiency. Iron is essential for the production of haemoglobin and transport of oxygen in the body. Iron deficiency anaemia significantly increases the risk of maternal morbidity and mortality during pregnancy. It is also associated with impaired cognition and brain development during foetal and child development.

Prevention strategies include combating malaria and other infections as well as the use of iron rich foods and food supplements. In the Gambia, anaemia is treated using the WHO recommendation for iron supplementation with 12mg iron/day in children and 60mg iron/day in pregnant women.

In the North Bank Region of The Gambia and in our field station in Basse, the IHAT-Gut field trial is currently investigating a novel highly bioavailable nano-iron supplement with the aim of improving the safety and efficacy of the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia.