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"Anaemia Free India" campaign launched

Special Correspondent

Prevalence is high in developing countries due to poverty and an inadequate diet


  • Two billion people globally suffer from iron deficiency
  • 87 per cent of pregnant women suffer from anaemia
  • It leads to a fall in academic performance

    NEW DELHI: The Indian Medical Association and Kellogg's India, a breakfast cereal manufacturing company, have launched an "Anaemia Free India" campaign to focus on the causes, incidence, prevalence and eradication of anaemia caused by iron deficiency.It will be implemented through IMA branches here and in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and other cities.

    Rallies and haemoglobin detection camps are being conducted for a month from Friday to create awareness. An estimated two billion people globally are anaemic and the prevalence is disproportionately high in developing countries due to poverty, inadequate diet and poor access to health services.

    Dietetic and nutrition surveys in India reveal that 87 per cent of pregnant women suffer from anaemia. According to the Nutrition Foundation of India, 90 per cent of adolescent girls, women and children suffer from iron deficiency. Almost 20 per cent of maternal deaths are because of iron deficiency anaemia and it is a contributory factor in 20 per cent more deaths.

    Every age group is vulnerable to iron-deficiency anaemia. In children, anaemia can cause a 5-10 point deficiency in IQ and hamper growth and language development. In adolescents, it leads to a fall in academic performance with a dip in memory and concentration levels. It can also lead to physical exhaustion and susceptibility to infection.

    "Anaemia is causing red alert for Indian women and children and we need to address it. In India, besides focussing on prevention, we need to talk of curative treatment of rampant anaemia to address health, education and economic consequences due to anaemia," the secretary general of the IMA, Vinay Aggarwal, said. The target is to bring down the deficiency from 90 to 5-10 per cent by 2010.

    Kellogg's India will carry messages on every pack sold from July 30.

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