In response to the problem, the national Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MHFW) launched a nationwide Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) programme in January 2013. WIFS builds on 13 years of evidence-generation through pilots and phased scale-ups by UNICEF on the use of weekly iron and folic acid supplementation to address anaemia in adolescent girls in different Indian states.
The WIFS programme targets 130 million adolescent boys and girls and is implemented jointly by three ministries, Health, Education and Women and Child Development.
The services delivered under the scheme include:
1) weekly iron and folic acid supplementation;
2) bi-annual deworming; and
3) nutrition counselling about how to improve diet, prevent anaemia and minimize the potential side-effects of IFA supplementation and deworming.
Partnerships have also been formed with civil society organizations to broaden the range of services for out-of-school adolescents and support state governments in providing nutrition education, life skills and vocational training services to adolescents.
UNICEF In Action
1. Adolescent girls anaemia control programme: Breaking the inter-generational cycle of undernutrition in India with a focus on adolescent girls Read More
2. Aguayo VM, Paintal K, Singh G. The Adolescent Girls’ Anaemia Control Programme: a decade of programming experience to break the inter-generational cycle of malnutrition in India. Public Health Nutrition 2013; 16 (09): 1667-1676. Read More