Today's Stanford Report reports on economist Scott Rozelle, PhD's struggle to combat anemia, an iron-deficiency disorder that plagues impoverished rural regions in China where families are too poor to provide their children with iron-rich foods like meat. Rozelle is specifically pushing to prevent anemia in these regions by encouraging schools and parents to provide children with vitamins and iron supplements despite the Chinese government's preference for less effective remedies:
Early results from two tests involving about 1,600 children show the eggs did nothing to lower the anemia rates in Gansu. Enough data hasn't been analyzed to tell whether the eggs had any impact on grades. But in villages where kids received a chewable vitamin every day, anemia usually went down by as much as 45 percent.
Rozelle is hopeful that those results will prompt the government to give at-risk children vitamins. It's a cheap fix - about 3 cents a day - to a problem that could have big societal costs.