As India remains among the countries worst-hit by anaemia, the day-long second World Congress of Anaemia (WCA) will discuss remedial measures, prevention, and control, the organisers on Friday.
"Organised by the 88-year-old Mumbai Obstetric & Gynaecological Society, the WCA theme is 'Iron Deficiency Anaemia', tools for effective prevention, management and control. The WCA is an initiative to achieve the goals of reducing iron deficiency anaemia in India and across the globe," Mumbai Obstetric and Gynaecological Society President Niranjan Chavan told IANS.
Affording a curtain-raiser to the mega-event, Chavan, of BMC's Sion hospital, said anaemia is widely prevalent among all age groups in India and the most vulnerable are pregnant women with 58 per cent prevalence, and 50 per cent among other women, 56 per cent adolescent girls, 30 per cent adolescent boys and a staggering 80 per cent among all children aged below two years.
Anaemia is a condition in which the blood doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells (RBCs) or dysfunctional RBCs in the body which results in reduced oxygen flow to the body's organs.
"The symptoms may include fatigue, skin pallor, breathlessness, light-headedness, dizziness or quickened heartbeats, and treatment would depend on the diagnosis," Chavan said.
Usually, iron supplements are used for iron deficiency, Vitamin B for low-vitamin levels, blood transfusions for blood losses and medication to induce blood formation if the body is unable to produce enough blood.
Citing World Health Organisation and Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data, he said the global prevalence of anaemia is nearly 30 per cent in women of the reproductive age or equivalent to more than 50 crore women aged between 15-49 years worldwide.
Its prevalence was slightly less at 29.6 per cent in non-pregnant women of the same age group, but it poses a major threat to maternal and child survival in India and other countries in the world.
It can result in low-birth weight of the child, lower resistance to infections, poor cognitive development and decreased work productivity.
"The magnitude of anaemia along with the associated adverse health, developmental and economic consequences highlight the need for intensified action to address this major public health issue," Chavan said.
The WCA supported by the World Anaemia Forum is an environment that puts their expertise to work in translating global science into recommendations and observations for clinicians, creating guidelines, policies and processes, he added.
The WCA held on Saturday will attract 16 national and international speakers from 14 major organisations worldwide and would be chaired by President-elect, FIGO, Anne Beatrice Kihara; former President, FIGO, C. N. Purandare and Guest of Honour, FIGO President Jeanne Conry, besides Shyam Desai, Nandita Palshetkar, Sanjay Gupte, among others, Chavan said.