In Anaemia Index, Odisha drops 3 ranks down in 2019-20

The severe anaemia cases in Odisha were 2.6% of all blood tests in April -August 2019. Angul tops the State with a rate of 7.1%.

Bhubaneswar: In the fight against anaemia, Odisha has apparently fallen behind. The State dropped three ranks down in the Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Index 2019.

Odisha with an assigned value of 33.4 has been ranked 11th in first quarter of 2019-20 vis-a-vis of 8th in year 2018-19. The slip-up in the rank chart was attributed to dip in the IFA (Iron & Folic Acid)  coverage among children in age-group of 5-9 years, Adolescents in 15-19 years and expectant mothers.

When 23.3 per cent children in the 5-9 years age -group were brought under IFA coverage in 2018-19, the proportion slid to 16.5 per cent in the 2019-20 (Q1).

Similarly,  the coverage shrunk to 17.2 from 28.9 per cent among adolescents in the age-group of 10-19 years and to 80.6 from 82.8 per cent among expectant mothers.

It needs mentioning here that the Narendra Modi Government has launched Anaemia Mukt Bharat in the year 2018 to reduce the prevalence of anaemia in the country in 2022 by 3 per cent.

Accordingly, an AMB score Card has been developed with an objective to provide information on coverage of IFA supplementation across the selected target beneficiaries to support assessment of progress and performance of the AMB program. This scorecard is prepared by AMB TST of Institute of Economic Growth in collaboration with UNICEF.

The assigned score value is an average of the indicators like percentage of children in age-group of 6-59 months and 5-9 years, Adolescents in 10-19 years age-group and pregnant women that were brought under IFA coverage.

Why the stress on IFA? As per WHO, in populations where the prevalence of anaemia among non-pregnant women of reproductive age group is 20 per cent or higher, intermittent iron and folic acid supplementation is recommended as a public health intervention to improve their haemoglobin concentrations and iron status and reduce the risk of anaemia.

The enormity of Anaemia is acute in Odisha. The NFHS-4 data is evident to the acuteness in the State. Anaemia prevalence among children in 6-59 days age-group in Odisha has been estimated at 44.6 per cent, 51.2 per cent in non-pregnant women and 28.4 per cent in all men.

Consider the big worry. The latest available data with State Health department shows that severe anaemia in Odisha stood at 2.6 per cent of all the blood tests done during the period April-August 2019. This means nearly three in every 100 blood tests have reported severe (Hb level less than 7g/dl) anaemia in Odisha.

The devil lies in the details. A district-wise glance shows Angul district topped the State with 7.1 per cent severe anaemia cases, which is followed by Koraput (4%).