Telling numbers: Nearly 3 out of 5 babies and children in India are anaemic

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News:Minister for Health and Family Welfare has informed Lok Sabha about the prevalence of Anaemia among women and children in India.

Facts:

About the prevalence of anaemia:

  • The data is based on the findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) IV which divides the incidence of anaemia into ‘Mild’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Severe’ kinds for both rural and urban India.
  • The data provides that as many as 58.5% of children between the ages of 6 months and 59 months and 53.1% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 years are anaemic in the country.
  • Among anaemic women and children in urban and rural India,29.8% of children in rural India suffer from moderate anaemia and 40.3% of women in the villages are mildly anaemic.

Additional information:

About Anaemia:

  • The World Health Organization defines anaemia as a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet physiological needs. 
  • Anaemia in men can cause fatigue, lethargy, creates difficulty in concentrating thereby reducing the quality of life and decreasing economic productivity.
  • An estimated 1.9 billion people had anaemia in 2013, which is 27% of the world’s population, and 93% of these cases occur in low- and middle-income countries. 
  • Factors such as consuming smokeless tobacco, being underweight, level of urbanisation and household wealth are associated with a higher probability of developing the disease.

About Anaemia Mukt Bharat:

  • The scheme has been launched in the year 2018 as part of Intensified National Iron Plus Initiative(NIPI) Program for accelerating the annual rate of decline of anaemia from one to three percentage points.
  • The scheme has a 6x6x6 strategy that is targeting six age groups with six interventions and six institutional mechanisms.
  • The six target age groups include pre-school children (6-59 months), children (5-9 years), adolescent girls (10-19 years), adolescent boys (10-19 years), women of reproductive age group (15-49), and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • Among the six interventions are prophylactic iron folic acid supplementation, periodic deworming and addressing non-nutritional causes of anaemia in endemic pockets with special focus on malaria, haemoglobinopathies and fluorosis.
  • Further,the institutional mechanisms include a National Anaemia Mukt Bharat Unit, a National Centre of Excellence and Advanced Research on Anaemia Control.