BHUBANESWAR: Odisha government is all set to launch a new initiative in mission mode for accelerated reduction of anaemia among the children and women in the State.
The ‘Anaemia Mukta Laqshya Abhiyan’ (Amlan) that combines national and global best practices in the management of anaemia is likely to be introduced in July. Several welfare programmes, including supplementary nutrition programme (SNP), notwithstanding, the prevalence of anaemia among different age groups has increased between 2015-16 and 2020-21 leaving the health experts worried.
In a bid to fix the crisis, the State government has prepared a strategy to regularly monitor the nutrition intake and other health supplements and testing and treatment of anaemic persons besides mapping their improvement. Director of Family Welfare Dr Bijay Panigrahi said a population-based intervention such as micronutrient supplementation, parasitic disease control, family planning and safe motherhood has been prepared for a reduction in anaemic cases.
As per the strategy, six activities will be carried out across the State with the involvement of six departments on a priority basis. The activities included strengthening the prophylaxis approach, testing, treating and talking (T3), addressing non-nutritional causes of anaemia, awareness, dietary diversity and year-round social behaviour change communication.
The targeted population selected in six groups will be tested and treated till their condition improves. The groups - children aged six months to 59 months, five years to nine years, 10 years to 19 years, women at reproductive age, and pregnant and lactating women will be tested for haemoglobin at schools, and village health nutrition day (VHND) and T3 camps.
The beneficiaries will be tested whether they are mild, moderate and severe. They will be treated for two/three months and tested again to ascertain the improvement. They will be put under a prophylaxis approach if their condition improves and referred to the hospital for better treatment if no improvement is noticed.
“The State has 1.37 crore people under the six groups. We have planned to conduct the quarterly T3 camps in every district to identify the anaemic cases. The guidelines have been prepared and will be released after incorporating the inputs from stakeholders,” he said.
Meanwhile, the State Task Force committee chaired by Additional Chief Secretary of Health Raj Kumar Sharma has decided to include nutrition education and different aspects of anaemia in the school curriculum, involving WSHG. Unlike the only prophylaxis approach practised earlier, a 360-degree approach involving all, including Asha, Anganwadi workers, ANMs, women SHGs and PRI members will be adopted.
The recently released National Family Health Survey 5 (NFHS 5) data revealed that the highest spike was recorded among the children where 64.2 per cent (pc) are anaemic as compared to 44.6 pc in NFHS-4 conducted in 2015-2016. Around 64.3 pc pregnant women, aged 15-49 years, are anaemic as against 51 pc during the last survey. Among non-pregnant women, aged 15 and 19, it is up from 51 pc in 2015-2016 to 65.5 in 2020-2021.