Hyderabad: The Indian Council of Medical Research has observed that the prevalence of anaemia continues to be 58 per cent in children and 53 per cent in women and stated that the efforts to reduce anaemia are insufficient to meet the Global Nutrition Target for 2025. In the reproductive age group anaemia continues to be as high as 48.1 per cent.
National Family Health Survey 4 of 2015-16 shows that 53 per cent of women in the age group of 15 to 49 years continue to suffer from anaemia because iron supplementation intake continues to be low.
A task force has been constituted to address the issue state wise to achieve the average anaemia reduction rates. It was found that 30 per cent of pregnant women took folic acid for 100 days only. The lack of compliance and gaps in implementation of various government programmes has resulted in anaemia not getting reduced.
Dr B.S. Raju, senior general physician explained “Iron supplementation addresses the problem by 50 to 60 per cent. However this approach is not adequate to address moderate and severe anaemia cases.”
Experts point out that there are significant challenges at the ground level in reaching the at-risk population and improving the compliance levels. Education about nutrition in the general population is limited making it difficult for them to understand on how to deal with the deficiency.
While there is a strong prevention and treatment program, the extent to which it reaches the masses and is understood is questionable. To meet the targets of 2025, the ICMR task force recommends a state wise Average Anaemia Reduction Rate. After reviewing multiple studies it was found that the requirement of each state was different. The task force determined that there was a need to focus on diagnosis and treatment besides supplementation to reduce the prevalence of the disease. There is also a need to focus on micronutrient rich foods which have adequate zinc, copper, vitamin B12, B6, A, C, E and folic acid.
The nutrition programs at the school, college and also community levels have to be strengthened so that people eat iron and micronutrient rich foods....