Adolescents in India are anaemic: Health minister

New Delhi: A little over 30 percent of adolescent boys and 55.8 percent of adolescent girls in India suffer from anaemia, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told the Lok Sabha Friday.

As per the latest National Family Health Survey, 55.3 percent of all women between 15-49 years of age, 56.2 percent of never married women and 58.7 per cent of pregnant women are anaemic in the country, Azad said in a written reply.

The minister said the prevalence of night blindness, that indicates Vitamin A deficiency in children, has reduced from 1.1 percent in 2001 to 0.2 percent in 2006.

Surveys conducted by the Directorate General of Health Services, Indian Council of Medical Research and other state health directorates found that out of 365 districts surveyed in all 35 states and union territories, people in 303 districts have iodine deficiency disorders, he said.

Azad said under the national rural health mission, a national "iron plus" initiative has been launched in which Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) is given to adolescent girls and boys and all women in the reproductive age group.


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