Anemia is prevalent among Indian youth and over 56 percent of adolescent girls and 30 percent of the boys in India are anemic, the Indian parliament was told Tuesday.
More than 39 percent adolescent girls in the age group of 15-19 years are mildly anemic while 15 percent and two percent suffer from moderate and severe anemia respectively, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told Rajya Sabha in reply to a question.
Anemia is a long standing problem in India and the country has a high prevalence of anemia amongst adolescents.
As per reports of the national Family Health Survey (2005-06), adolescent girls in particular are more vulnerable to anemia due to the rapid growth of the body and loss of blood during menstruation.
Azad said to contain the spread of anemia, the ministry of health and family welfare has launched a weekly iron and folic acid supplementation.
The programme is estimated to cover approximately 13 crore beneficiaries and will meet the challenge of anemia amongst adolescent girls and boys in the age group of 10-19 years.
As of now the programme has been rolled out in 18 states and remaining states and Union territories are at different stages of preparedness for implementing the programme.
The programme is being implemented in both rural and urban areas and covers school going adolescent girls and boys in 6th to 12th class enrolled in government or government aided schools and anganwadi centres.