Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- The Anemia mukta Bharat (AMB) was launched in 2018 to reduce prevalence of Anemia all over India.
- It is initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) & United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
- The scheme is part of the Intensified National Iron Plus Initiative (NIPI) Program and comes under the Prime Ministers Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutritional Nourishment (POSHAN) Abhiyan
- It focusses on six target beneficiary groups, through six interventions and six institutional mechanisms to achieve the envisaged target under the POSHAN Abhiyan.
- It was launched to speed up the progress of reduction of Anemia. During the period 2005 to 2015, the reduction of anemia was less than 1% per annum.
Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet the body’s physiological requirements, which vary by age, sex, altitude, smoking habits, and during pregnancy.
The manifestations of anemia vary by its severity and range from fatigue, weakness, dizziness and drowsiness to impaired cognitive development of children and increased morbidity.
Anemia in pregnancy is associated with post-partum haemorrhage, neural tube defects, low birth weight, premature births, stillbirths and maternal deaths. In malaria endemic regions, anemia is one of the most common preventable causes of maternal and child deaths. In its most severe form, anemia can also lead to death.
There are many causes of anemia, out of which iron deficiency accounts for about 50 percent of anemia in school children and among women of reproductive age-group, and 80 percent in children 2–5 years of age. Other nutritional deficiencies besides iron, such as vitamin B12, folate and vitamin A, can cause anemia although the magnitude of their contribution is unclear. Infectious diseases – in particular malaria, helminth infections, tuberculosis and haemoglobinopathies – are other important contributory causes to the high prevalence of anemia.
Anemia is defined as haemoglobin concentration below established cut-off levels in the blood. The haemoglobin cut-offs which are used for diagnosing anemia across ages are described below.
The reduction of anemia is one of the important objectives of the POSHAN Abhiyaan launched in March 2018. Complying with the targets of POSHAN Abhiyaan and National Nutrition Strategy set by NITI Aayog, the Anemia Mukt Bharat strategy has been designed to reduce prevalence of anemia by 3 percentage points per year among children, adolescents and women in the reproductive age group (15–49 years), between the year 2018 and 2022.
Beneficiaries and Targets
The strategy is estimated to reach out to 450 million beneficiaries with specific anemia prevalence targets for year 2022 to be achieved among various population groups
Estimated number of beneficiaries will be annually revised and updated. While all women of reproductive age should ideally be covered, the estimated number of beneficiaries are those women aged 20–24 years from Mission Parivar Vikas Yojana who will be initially covered in Anemia Mukt Bharat.
The Anemia Mukt Bharat strategy will be implemented in all villages, blocks, and districts of all the States/UTs of India through existing delivery platforms as envisaged in the National Iron Plus Initiative (NIPI) and Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) programme.
Anemia Mukt Bharat Anemia reduction Targets for 2022
Strategy for implementation
A snapshot of the Anemia Mukt Bharat 6X6X6 strategy is depicted below.
The Anemia Mukt Bharat strategy is a universal strategy and will focus on the following interventions:
- Prophylactic Iron and Folic Acid supplementation
- Intensified year-round Behaviour Change Communication Campaign (Solid Body, Smart Mind) focusing on four key behaviours
- Improving compliance to Iron Folic Acid supplementation and deworming
- Appropriate infant and young child feeding practices,
- Increase in intake of iron-rich food through diet diversity/quantity/frequency and/or fortified foods with focus on harnessing locally available resources and
- Ensuring delayed cord clamping after delivery (by 3 minutes) in health facilities
- Testing and treatment of anemia, using digital methods and point of care treatment, with special focus on pregnant women and school-going adolescents
- Mandatory provision of Iron and Folic Acid fortified foods in government-funded public health programmes
- Intensifying awareness, screening and treatment of non-nutritional causes of anemia in endemic pockets, with special focus on malaria, haemoglobinopathies
Source: Anemia Mukt Bharat