According to National Family Health Survey (NFHS)–IV (2015-16), the prevalence of anaemia among women aged 15 to 49 years is 53% and among adolescent girls aged 15-19 years is 54%.
It is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet physiologic needs, which vary by age, sex, altitude, smoking, and pregnancy status.
Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia, although other conditions, such as folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin A deficiencies, chronic inflammation, parasitic infections, and inherited disorders can all cause anaemia.
In its severe form, it is associated with fatigue, weakness, dizziness and drowsiness. Pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable.
Under the National Health Mission (NHM), the steps taken to tackle anaemia are:
Anaemia Mukt Bharat(AMB): It 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 target groups for AMB are Children 6-59 months, 5-9 years, Adolescent Girls & Boys of 10-19 years, Women of Reproductive Age (15-49 years), Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers.
Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS): This Programme is being implemented to meet the challenge of high prevalence and incidence of anaemia amongst adolescent girls and boys.
The intervention under WIFS includes supervised weekly ingestion of Iron Folic Acid (IFA) tablet.
To control worm infestation biannual deworming with Albendazole is provided.
Health management information system & Mother Child tracking system is being implemented for reporting and tracking the cases of anaemic and severely anaemic pregnant women.
Universal screening of pregnant women for anaemia is a part of ante-natal care and all pregnant women are provided iron and folic acid tablets during their ante-natal visits through the existing network of sub-centres and primary health centres and other health facilities as well as through outreach activities at Village Health & Nutrition Days (VHNDs).
Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA): It has been launched to focus on conducting special ANC check up on 9th of every month with the help of Medical officers/ OBGYN to detect and treat cases of anaemia.
Operationalization of Blood Bank: in District Hospitals and Blood Storage Unit in subdistrict facilities such as Sub-Divisional Hospital/ Community Health Centers is being taken to tackle complications due to severe anaemia.
National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4)
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.
All National Family Health Surveys have been conducted under the stewardship of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, with the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, serving as the nodal agency.
ICF International (formerly Macro International), Maryland, USA, provided technical assistance for all four surveys conducted as on date.