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India weakening: Most women and kids anaemic


Neelu Vyas,CNN-IBN
Oct 13, 2007 at 01:50pm IST

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The latest National Family Health Survey has shown that most Indians have anaemia. The survey's findings reveal that over 55 per cent women and about 24 per cent Indian men are anaemic, but unfortunately, few are aware of the same.

Reena, a 31-year-old mother of two has been hospitalised since some time and is fighting her deteriorating haemoglobin levels. She is but one of those who had no idea of her anaemic condition.

"I was not aware that my haemoglobin level was really low. The doctor told me," she said. "I have no idea how it happened, but I have chronic anaemia," the mother of two said, adding that she takes full meals regularly.

India Weakening: Most Indian women and children under five have anaemia

The director of the National Rural Health Mission, G C Chaturvedi, said that the onus is on the government to issue directives on the kind of diet that should be followed.

"The Government will have to induce a behavioural change," he said.

The main area of concern of the National Family Health Survey is child health.

Anaemia is hugely prevalent among children in the age group of six to 59 months; the survey puts the figure at over 70 per cent.

Furthermore, more than 56 per cent of children between the ages of 12 to 23 months do not get fully inoculated against major childhood illnesses such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and measles (rubella), the survey found.

Other important findings are the prevalence rate of 0.28 per cent in cases of HIV in the age group of 15 to 49 years, as well as a decline in female fertility rates.

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