Problem Of Anemia

According to the statistics published in the latest ‘Women and Men in India 2022’ report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Majority of women in Jammu and Kashmir are anaemic, a condition in which one lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to body’s tissues.

Among 66 percent women in J&K with anaemia, 25 percent suffer mild, 38 percent moderate, and three percent severe anaemia.

Having anemia, also referred to as low hemoglobin, can make one feel tired and weak.

Anaemia in particular is high among rural women, those aged 15-19 years, and other backward class women.

In 2018, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) launched Anemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) strategy under POSHAN Abhiyaan with the target to reduce anaemia in children, adolescents, women including pregnant and lactating women in life cycle approach providing preventive and curative mechanisms through a 6X6X6 strategy.

The six beneficiaries age groups are Children 6-59 months; Children 5-9 years,

Adolescents 10-19 years, Women of Reproductive Age (15-49 years), Pregnant

Women and Lactating women.

The six interventions are Prophylactic Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation in all six target age groups; Deworming among children 1-19 years; Intensified year round Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) Campaign; Testing and treatment of anaemia, using Digital Invasive Haemoglobinometer; Provision of IFA fortified food in government funded public health programmes; and Addressing non-nutritional  causes of anaemia in endemic pockets with special focus on malaria, haemoglobinopathies and fluorosis

Anemia in pregnancy is a condition with effects that may be deleterious to mothers and fetuses. It considerably increases fetal and maternal mortality and morbidity due to maternal vulnerability for infection and hemorrhage.

As per experts, if there is very poor compliance for oral iron, it could be given in the injection form at an interval of four weeks along with other necessary professionally prescribed interventions for better compliance. Iron fortification of foods also improves intake, as per the experts.

The government tries to meet the challenges through various means including providing Iron and Folic Acid supplementation to the pregnant women during ANC and providing incentives to front line workers for identification and follow-up of pregnant women with severe anaemia. However there is a need to ensure strict compliance besides providing training and orientation of medical officers and staff nurses on the AMB guidelines. The administration needs to continue measures regarding awareness to address the various issues related to it.

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