Prevalence of anaemia among children aged six months to five years has increased by more than nine per cent in about five years, the Centre told the Lok Sabha on Friday quoting NFHS-5, conducted during 2019-21.
According to National Family Health Survey-4 carried out in 2015-16, the percentage of anaemia cases in this age bracket was 58.6. However, this has increased to 67.1 per cent in the Union Health Ministry’s latest survey.
Responding to a question, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in a written reply said according to NFHS-5, prevalence of anaemia among children aged six months to five years is highest in Ladakh (90 per cent), followed by Gujarat (80 per cent), Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (76 per cent), Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir (73 per cent), and Punjab and Rajasthan (71 per cent) .
Mandaviya said the government implements Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) strategy under POSHAN Abhiyaan (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) with the target of reducing anaemia in the six population groups – children (6-59 months), children (5-9 years), adolescent girls and boys (10-19 years), pregnant women, lactating women and women of reproductive age group (15-49 years) in lifecycle approach.
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Some of the major interventions by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are to address anaemia under AMB, include prophylactic iron and folic acid supplementation, deworming, intensified year-round behaviour change communication campaign, testing of anaemia using digital methods and point of care treatment, addressing non-nutritional causes of anaemia in endemic pockets with special focus on malaria, hemoglobinopathies and fluorosis and monitoring progress in states and Union territories using Anaemia Mukt Bharat dashboard among others, Mandaviya said in the written reply.