Anaemia in women and children on the rise

  • IASbaba
  • November 28, 2021
  • 0
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(Down to Earth: Health)

Nov 24: Anaemia in women and children on the rise–   


  • GS-2: Health

Anaemia in women and children on the rise

Context: Anaemia continues to remain widespread in India as its prevalence across age and gender groups has increased. Anaemia has increased by 2-9 per cent among children, pregnant and non-pregnant women and men according to data shared in the National Family Health Survey 5 (NFHS-5) released November 24, 2021.

On Children: 

  • The largest spike is seen in children between the ages of six and 59 months, where 67.1 per cent are anaemic. 
  • In rural areas, 68.3 per cent children are anaemic, while the urban load stands at 64.2 per cent.

On Women: 

  • The second highest increase is recorded in women between the ages of 15 and 19.
  • More young women in rural areas (56.5 per cent) are anaemic as compared to urban areas (60.2 per cent).
  • All women between the ages of 15 and 49 years reported a four per cent increase in incidence of anaemia
  • Meanwhile, the percentage of pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 49 years who are anaemic has increased to 52.2 per cent now.

On Men

  • Irrespective of age group, have reported the lowest increase in the incidence of anaemia, at 2.3 per cent for those between the ages of 15 and 49.
  • Among them, younger men, between 15 and 19, have shown a 1.9 per cent increase to 31.1 per cent now.

State wise

  • Figures for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have shown an upward trend in anaemic cases between now and 2015-2016. 
  • A 2-6 per cent increase has been recorded in all age groups for Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, while Rajasthan is the worst among them with a 9-12 per cent increase.
  • Assam is among the worst performing states, with a huge spike in anaemic cases. 

About Anaemia

Anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or the haemoglobin concentration within them is lower than normal. Haemoglobin is needed to carry oxygen and if you have too few or abnormal red blood cells, or not enough haemoglobin, there will be a decreased capacity of the blood to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. This results in symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness and shortness of breath, among others.

The most common causes of anaemia include nutritional deficiencies, particularly iron deficiency, though deficiencies in folate, vitamins B12 and A are also important causes; haemoglobinopathies; and infectious diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and parasitic infections.

Must read: Rice Fortification: A complementary approach to address Nutritional Anaemia

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