FAQs - Anaemia
A: Open defecation poses serious threat to health of children in India. The practice is the main reason India reports the highest number of diarrhoeal deaths among children under-five in the world. Every year, diarrhoea kills 188,000 children under five in India. Pathogens in excreta find their way back to people causing diseases. Children weakened by frequent diarrhoea episodes are more vulnerable to malnutrition, stunting, and opportunistic infections such as pneumonia. About 43 per cent of children in India suffer from some degree of malnutrition. Diarrhoea and worm infection are two major health conditions that affect school age children impacting their learning abilities. More importantly, open defecation also puts at risk the dignity of women in India. Women feel constrained to relieve themselves only under the cover of dark for reasons of privacy to protect their dignity. However, this exposes women to the danger of sexual attacks and encounters such as snake bites. Poor sanitation also cripples national development: workers produce less, live shorter lives, save and invest less, and are less able to send their children to school.
A: Human blood contains a red pigment called haemoglobin which carries oxygen into the lungs and to different parts of body. For making haemoglobin red, strong and healthy, it chiefly needs iron, folic acid, vitamin C, protein and vitamin B12 – these are essential nutrients which our body cannot make on its own and need to be taken in our food, deficiency of these nutrients in diet leads to decreased concentration of haemoglobin making it thin and pale in colour. When haemoglobin concentration is lower than the levels considered normal for the persons age and sex groups this is called Anaemia. Decreased haemoglobin concentration leads to less supply of oxygen to different parts of the body which results in the malfunctioning of body cells and organic systems. Out of all these nutrients, Anaemia due to deficiency of iron is more common. Among all Anaemia, iron deficiency Anaemia is found in more than 50 per cent of the cases. Anaemia, like fever is a manifestation, not a disease, the most common cause being iron deficiency. The other causes are deficiency in other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, B, folic acid and zinc, malaria and worm infections.
A: India has the largest number of young people aged 10-19 years in the world – 243 million out of 1.2 billion. This age group – referred as adolescents - comprise one-fourth of India’s population and are key drivers of India’s future economic growth. However, 56 per cent of girls and 30 per cent of boys in the age group of 15-19 years in India suffer from Anaemia. This means that 1 out of 2 young girls and 1 out of 3 young boys are anemic. In Haryana, 58 per cent of adolescent girls and 26 per cent of adolescent boys are anemic. Anaemia is eroding the mental and physical capacity of young boys and girls, retarding their physical development, making them fatigued and breathless, and adversely affecting their memory and energy to perform daily tasks. Adolescent marriage and pregnancy is still prevalent in India, particularly rural India. Anaemia in girls during pregnancy is increasingly their risk to give birth to babies with low birth weight and resulting in complications during birth. Research shows that after the first year of life, adolescence is the second highest growth spurt period. Adolescents if fed and cared well, gain up to 50 per cent of their adult weight, more than 20% of their adult height, and 50% of their adult skeletal/bone mass during this period. A country whose young boys and girls should have been marching ahead get robbed of their capacity to achieve their physical and mental potential due to Anaemia.
A: Iron stored in the body is utilized when the amount of iron required by the body is more than that absorbed from the intestine. If this condition continues longer, then iron stores become depleted and deficiency of iron develops in blood. Generally Anaemia develops due to less intake of iron in our food or hindrance in the absorption of iron from food due to any reason. Besides this, Anaemia results when there is blood loss during heavy, delivery injury and surgery and there are Hook worms/round worms’ in intestine and in case of Malaria, during which breakdown of hemoglobin takes place.
A: During adolescence, there is rapid increase in height and weight and sexual maturation. Also for adolescent girls, menstruation begins –leading to blood loss each month. To cope with these additional demands, there is an increased requirement of iron. If it isn’t available, young girls suffer from iron deficiency and this leads to .
A: Simple exercises like playing games, walking, climbing stairs etc. make an anaemic person feel out of breath and tired. Even small work at home can lead to tiredness. reduces the ability to memorise and learn. You fall sick often and cannot concentrate while working or remember what you have learnt. This reduces academic success. Children with have more than twice the risk of scoring below average in math tests. Anaemic children often fall sick leading to absenteeism from school. in girls during pregnancy is associated with giving birth to anaemic as well: it’s a vicious cycle, low birth weight babies and affecting their own survival during delivery.
A: Eating foods rich in iron like Palak, Methi, Sarasia, Suva Ni Bhaji, Ajman Na Pan Bajra, Khajur, meat, fish, eggs and taking Iron Folic Acid (IFA) tablets once a week, is an effective means of keeping away. Along with the above diet, deworming tablets need to be taken once in six months to prevent in adolescents. Tea and coffee two hours before and after meal should be avoided as it inhibits absorption of iron into the body. Vitamin C rich food i.e. citrus fruits like Amla, Guava, Ber, Oranges, lemon should be taken along with meal containing iron as it improves iron absorption.
A: Yes. This is because iron from a vegetarian diet is not effectively absorbed. Adolescent boys and girls should take it once a week. This is not a medicine but a nutrient, which you get from food. As the requirement of this nutrient is more and can’t be met by diet, it is supplemented in form of tablet.
A: When the iron tablet is taken for the first time, the body may find it little difficult to digest and you may have symptoms such as stomach ache and nausea. However if we take the iron tablet after food, the absorption will be little low but stomachache and nausea will not occur. These side effects disappear once you take the tablet regularly for a few weeks as the body adjusts to the iron tablets. Some people may complain about black stools, but they are totally harmless. The body takes the iron it needs and the extra iron comes out of body through faces. To avoid any side effects you should never take the tablet on an empty stomach. Taking any vitamin or nutrient is never restricted during an illness. In fact it helps you to recover fast from your illness by improving immunity of the body.
A: Take single tablet • Swallow the tablet • Eat on full stomach • Have one glass of water after having the tablet
A: • Don’t chew • Don’t crush • Don’t break • Don’t take on empty stomach • Don’t take with milk
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