Prevalence of anemia among school-age children in Ethiopia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Robel Tezera, Zekariyas Sahile, Delelegn Yilma, Equilnet Misganaw, Ermiyas Mulu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Anemia continued to become a major public health problem in developing nations including Ethiopia. Especially, school children are more vulnerable for anemia and consequences of anemia. Generating accurate epidemiological data on anemia in school children is an important step for health policy maker. There are limited evidences on anemia prevalence in school-age children in Ethiopia. This study aimed to synthesize the pooled prevalence of anemia in school-age children in Ethiopia. 

Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis was followed the PRISMA guidelines. Comprehensive searched was conducted in PubMed/MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, HINARI, and Ethiopian Journal of Health Development for studies published before 2016, supplemented by manual searches to identify relevant studies. Two review authors independently selected studies, extracted data, and assessed quality of studies. The Cochrane Q test and I 2 test statistic were used to test heterogeneity through studies. The overall prevalence was calculated using random-effects model of DerSimonian-Laird method. 

Results: From 831 obtained studies, 13 articles included in the meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of anemia among school children in Ethiopia was 23% (95% CI 18-28%). The prevalence of anemia in male and female school-age children was 27% (95% CI 20 and 34%) and 24% (95% CI 18 and 30%), respectively. 

Conclusions: This study found that prevalence of anemia was a moderate public health problem in school children. Due to the complications of anemia for school children, preventative planning and control of anemia among school children in Ethiopia is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
Number of pages7
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Anemia
  • Ethiopia
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Prevalence
  • School children


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