AP turns anaemic; problem mainly among kids, pregnant women
Deccan Chronicle.| Sampat G Samaritan
AP is anaemic as regards its children in the age of 6-59 months and pregnant women from 15 to 49 years
Pregnant women recorded anaemia of 53.7 per cent in the fifth edition of the survey against 52.9 per cent in the fourth edition, showing a rise by 0.8 per cent. (Representational Photo: AP)
Vijayawada: AP is anaemic as regards its children in the age of 6-59 months and pregnant women from 15 to 49 years, as per results of the National Family Health Survey-5 for year 2019-20. This has caused serious concern among the state health authorities.
A comparison drawn from NFHS-5 with NFHS-4 of 2015-16 revealed that children recorded anemia of the order of 63.2 per cent, in the fifth edition of the survey. This was against 58.6 per cent in the previous edition, signifying a rise in anaemia cases by 4.6 per cent.
Similarly, pregnant women recorded anaemia of 53.7 per cent in the fifth edition of the survey against 52.9 per cent in the fourth edition, showing a rise by 0.8 per cent.
The state health authorities attribute a series of reasons for the rise. Anaemia is quite rampant in tribal areas as the babies and pregnant women may not be getting adequate nutrition supplements. In some pockets, fluorosis problem persisted, it is noted.
The state officials played down the sample survey conducted among the kids to indicate a rise in anaemia. As per the norms of the Centre, they are not allowing kids to be pricked with a needle for collection of blood sample. The sample survey does not necessarily indicate such a phenomenon in the entire state, they said.
The health authorities say they will come up with an action plan to address the anaemia problem by ensuring supply of iron folic acid tablets and syrup to all the targeted beneficiaries involving the ANMs at the PHC level in the villages. This is in addition to taking up a regular deworming exercise by giving them tablets to swallow, to help improve their haemoglobin percentage in the blood.
They say that as the women are prone to be anaemic as they undergo periodical menstrual bleeding, they are taking up steps like giving blood transfusion for women and kids whose haemoglobin percentage in the blood dips five to six grams. Those who record haemoglobin percentage above that level will get IFA supplement to help improve their haemoglobin count in the blood.
A health official said, "As the NFHS-6 survey is in progress, we are showing a record improvement especially with regard to anaemia by addressing the issue and standing in better positions compared with other states. We are expecting the survey to be over in two months and shall get the accurate figures on anaemia in the state."
On the other hand, AP fared well in several indicators in NFHS-5 with regard to neonatal mortality rate, infant mortality rate and under-5 mortality rate, institutional births, total vaccination of children of 12-23 months, population living in households with electricity and improved drinking water source and improved sanitation facility, among others.