The standard solution for iron deficiency – iron supplements or tablets – isn’t working in developing countries. Iron supplements tablets are neither affordable nor widely available, and because of the side-effects people don’t like taking them.
Dr Christopher Charles had a novel idea. Inspired by previous research which showed that cooking in cast iron pots increased the iron content of food, he decided to put a lump of iron into the cooking pot, made from melted-down metal.
If the iron fish is used every day in the correct way, Dr Charles says it should provide 75% of an adult’s daily recommended intake of iron – and even more of a child’s.
Trials on several hundred villagers in one province in Cambodia showed that nearly half of those who took part were no longer anaemic after 12 months…