Anemia Mukt Bharat aims to reach 450 million people by 2022

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Anemia Mukt Bharat, Anemia, iron, folic acid
Anemia prevalence across all ages is extremely high in India | Photo: Ministry of Health and Family welfare

Social media, radio and television messages to create buzz about the low hemoglobin disease that plagues the entire country but women are the worst hit

Anemia cards, whatsapp messages and radio jockeys talking anemia – these are just some of the initiatives on the anvil to generate buzz about the disease of low haemoglobin that is endemic in India as the country launches a drive towards “Anemia mukt (anemia free) Bharat”.

Prime minister Narendra Modi talked about the drive during his Direct Samvad interaction last week with frontline health workers.

In line with the Rashtriya Poshan Maah (national nutrition month) all of September, anemia mukt Bharat aims to reduce prevalence of anemia by 3 percentage points per year among children, adolescents and women in the reproductive age group (15–49 years), between the year 2018 and 2022. The strategy is to reach out to 450 million beneficiaries with specific anemia prevalence targets for year 2022.

According to the National Family Health Survey 4 (NHFS-4), 2015/16, anemia prevalence across all ages is extremely high in India; varying from 30 percent to 69 percent

Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet the body’s physiological requirements, which vary by age, sex, altitude, smoking habits, and during pregnancy.

Anemia is a condition in which red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet the body’s requirements

According to the National Family Health Survey 4 (NFHS-4), 2015/16, anemia prevalence across all ages is extremely high in India; varying from 30 percent to 69 percent. Between 2005-06 and 2015-16 percentage reduction in anemia incidence has been very low, ranging from 11% in children aged 6-59 months and 1% in boys aged 15-19 years.

Administration of iron and folic acid is the mainstay of the plan but there is a lot of academic and logistical support and inter ministerial coordination in the offing to crack down against anemia. The National Anemia Mukt Bharat Steering Committee will have representation from the ministries of health, women and child development, rural development and also human resource development.

The Anemia Mukt Bharat portal (www.anemiamuktbharat.info) is a one-stop shop of materials developed under the Anemia Mukt Bharat strategy in one place, such as communication resource material, survey data, targets, state and district-wise denominators, and state and district-wise quarterly progress reports. These include posters, communication materials for health workers, badges and playing cards. Three radio spots have been developed too with an eye on specific target groups. Rakhte Hain Hum Mazboot Irade (30 seconds) targets children aged 5 to 9 years,  Lohe Sa Dum Hum Rakhte Hain (30 seconds) is for those aged for 10 to 19 years) amd Maa Ki Shakti Se Sab Ka Jeevan Chalta Hain (30 seconds) is for pregnant and lactating women.

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