HYDERABAD: Telangana has nearly 53.53 lakh anaemic women and 16.34 lakh anaemic children. These are the key pointers seen in the newly released State Nutrition Profile of Telangana by NITI Aayog, which uses the National Family Health Survey data (NFHS) 4 and 5 and puts into perspective how the State’s performance on nutrition has been downgraded. The report has shown the five worst affected districts by showing district wise disease burden.
The State’s overall disease burden for anaemia is shocking with the report summarising that roughly 53,53,541 non-pregnant women are anaemic and 97,473 pregnant women anaemic. Around 16,34,760 children below the age of five are also anaemic. This cumulatively implies roughly one fourth of State’s population is stricken with anaemia.The State’s overall burden in terms of stunting and wasting is also high with nearly 8.82 lakh children stunted and 5.18 lakh children wasted.
The report recommends that attention be given to improve the situation as the disease is nearly 70% among children, 58% in non-pregnant women and 53% in pregnant women as of 2020. The study also notes that proper diet needs to be increased and early initiation of breastfeeding to be brought in to fix the damage in short term. Underlying issue behind this issue is stated to be a large number of women (46%) have less than 10 years of education.
Meanwhile, amongst the worst performing districts in terms of nutrition are the two of most progressive districts — Hyderabad and Rangareddy.In various indices like stunting, anaemic pregnant women, anaemic non-pregnant women, underweight children and anaemic children, Rangareddy leads the charts, with lakhs of women and children affected by the disease. Hyderabad also has lakhs of children and women affected in these categories.Other districts with large malnourishment burden are Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Adilabad, Medak and Nizamabad, all of them performing poorly in one category or the other.