- The Union government’s initiative to control anaemia comes in with the report of National Health and Family Welfare Survey III and the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau study which has reported the prevalence of anaemia among adolescents with a haemoglobin value of under 12 grams percentage in girls and haemoglobin value of under 13 grams percentage in boys. Anaemia is seen a serious public issue as around 74 per cent of the population have their haemoglobin level less than the normal level.
- It is estimated that over 56 per cent of the adolescent girls and 30 per cent of the boys in the same age group of 10 to 19 years are anaemic in India.
- Almost 50 per cent of nutritional deficiency-related anaemia is Iron Deficiency Anaemia which is a result of under-nutrition and poor dietary intake of iron
Anaemia in adolescents results in
- poor physical growth,
- reduced school performance and
- diminished concentration in daily tasks.
- In adolescent girls, it enhances the risk of preterm delivery and of their having low birth-weight babies who are not likely to reach the age of one.
- Young women in the age group 15-24 account for about one-third of all maternal deaths
- The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has suggested to the States that a day in a week, preferably Monday, be earmarked for providing IFA tablets to adolescents. The programme is free of cost and iron, folic acid and de-worming tablets, along with testing and counselling services would be provided free.
- Administering supervised Weekly IFA supplements of 100 mg elemental iron and 500 mg folic acid; The iron and folic acid supplementation in the form of capsules with enteric coating barrier applied to oral medication that controls the location in the digestive system where it is absorbed to avoid diarrhoea and vomiting will be supplied to children across the country.
- Screening of target groups for moderate/severe anaemia and referring these cases to an appropriate health facility;
- bi-annual de-worming (Albendazole 400 mg), six months apart, for control of helminth (parasitic worm) infestation
- imparting information on improving dietary intake and prevention of intestinal worm infestation.
- Being implemented under the National Programme for the Control and Prevention of Anaemia in adolescents, the National Rural Health Mission is funding it.
- The programme, to be implemented across the country in both rural and urban areas, will cover 13 crore adolescents — 6 crore girls and 7 crore boys — enrolled in classes VI-XII in government and aided schools, and 7 crore out-of-school adolescent girls.
- A total of Rs 135 crore is being invested in the program to eradicate anaemia.