Iron deficiency without or with anaemia is a major global health problem primarily affecting vulnerable population groups such as children 5 years of age and women of reproductive age. In the semi-arid tropics, the aetiology of iron deficiency is multifactorial, but the major factors are low dietary iron intake and bioavailability from monotonous diets based on staple crops, such as sorghum and millets, exacerbated by chronic infections, such as malaria. Sorghum and millets are main staple foods for many poverty-stricken people living in the semi-arid tropics. The overall aim of the present work was to develop approaches to improve iron nutrition from sorghum and millet based diets in malaria endemic areas. This included an evaluation of the effect of asymptomatic malaria on iron absorption, an investigation of the effect of sorghum polyphenols on iron absorption and the optimization of iron bioavailability from a complementary food fortificant added to thin millet gruel. Moreover, iron bioavailability and total iron absorbed from iron-biofortified pearl millet was compared with that from regular-iron and post-harvest iron-fortified millet.