Available studies on
prevalence of nutritional anemia in India show that
65% infant and toddlers, 60% 1-6 years of age, 88% adolescent
girls (3.3% has hemoglobin <7 gm./dl; severe anemia)
and 85% pregnant women (9.9% having severe anemia. The
prevalence of anemia was marginally higher in lactating
women as compared to pregnancy. The commonest is iron
The programme was launched in 1970
to prevent nutritional anemia in mothers and children.
Under this programme, the expected and nursing mothers
as well as acceptors of family planning are given one
tablet of iron and folic acid containing 60 mg elementary
iron which was raised to 100 mg elementary iron, however
folic acid content remained same (0.5 mg of folic acid)
and children in the age group of 1-5 years are given
one tablet of iron containing 20 mg elementary iron
(60 mg of ferrous sulphate and 0.1 mg of folic acid)
daily for a period of 100 days. This programme is being
taken up by Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Division
of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Now it is
part of RCH programme.
to control and prevent anemia have not been successful.
Experiences from other countries in controlling moderately-severe
anemia guide to adopt long term measures i.e. fortification
of food items like milk, cereal, sugar, salt with iron.
Nutrition education to improve dietary intakes in family
for receiving needed macro/micro nutrients as protein,
iron and vitamins like folic acid, B, B,C, etc. for
hemoglobin synthesis is important. Nutritional Anemia
Control Programme should be comprehensive and incorporate
nutrition education through school health and ICDs infrastructure
to promote regular intake of iron/ folic acid-rich foods,
to promote intake of food which helps in absorption
of iron and folic acid and adequate intake of food.