In 2000, a baseline survey conducted among more than 2,800 adolescent girls in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, showed that up to 75 per cent were anaemic.
The survey also showed that nearly all these girls were willing to take iron and folic acid tablets in school. As a result, the state government stepped in with UNICEF to provide iron supplements to 64,544 adolescent girls across 410 schools.
An assessment completed after 18 months of weekly supplementation showed that anaemia prevalence had been reduced to 53 per cent. The government plans to implement this programme throughout the state.