Almost all — 92% — of Ladakh children suffer from anaemia and the rest of the country isn’t faring any better either
- The number of children with
anaemiahas increased from 58% in 2015-16 to 67% in 2019-21 in India, says the State of Inequality report.
- 92.5% of children in Ladakh suffer from this health condition.
- India has the highest percentage of anaemia as compared to other countries in the South Asian region.
AdvertisementIndia is facing yet another health emergency and it’s affecting our children - aneamia. The number of children facing this condition caused by iron deficiency has increased from 58% in 2015-16 to 67% in 2019-21, says the State of Inequality report released by Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.
The cold desert of Ladakh situated in difficult terrain fares the worst - as 92.5% of its children suffer from this health condition. Gujarat comes next with 78% - and this percentage has been growing in the state.
The report said that it can be handled by giving importance to nutritional deficiency and ensure that poverty or discrimination isn’t causing it. “Every household should be empowered enough that the Cost of Recommended Diet (CoRD24) is not more than 16% of their household consumption expenditure,” the report said.
Aneamia is a health condition wherein the body lacks healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen, causing fatigue and a weak immune system. It makes an individual more prone to infections - and in children, it affects their physical and cognitive development. This is majorly caused due to iron and folic acid deficiency.
Anaemia is going down in tribal-dominated areas
As many as 59% of adolescent girls and 57% of women of reproductive age suffer from it, in India. It is much lower for adolescent boys and men at 31% and 25%, respectively.
Bihar has the highest percentage of
The condition has been declining in tribal-dominated areas like Madhya Pradesh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Nagaland, Andaman & Nicobar Islands — probably due to focussed attention and interventions.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands showed the biggest decline of 8%, while Himachal Pradesh also saw a similar decline. The number of pregnant women suffering from aneamia across India however went up to 52% from 50% earlier.
India has the highest prevalence of anaemia in South Asia
Among the developing countries, India has the highest percentage of anaemia as compared to other countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh in the South Asian region.
As per WHO estimates, Indian cases of the condition are much higher than the global average of 39.8% for children and 36.5% for pregnant women. However, the highest has been observed in Nigeria with 55% – and India with 52% isn’t too far behind.
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