Hyderabad: Iron-Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) is one of the major problems faced by young women in Telangana. About 56.7 per cent of women, aged 15-49 years, in the State are estimated to be suffering from this common blood disorder which is caused by reduced number of red blood cells or lower-than-normal haemoglobin concentration in red blood cells.
This is a serious health problem particularly among young girls living in marginalised areas where there is lack of availability of iron-rich foods such as grains, plants, cereals, lentils, beans and leafy vegetables. Women are more affected by IDA compared to men because they lose iron during their period.
Synergy India Foundation, which is working towards health, sanitation education, environment and sustainable livelihoods for over a decade, is now going all out to curb iron deficiency among young girls in Telangana. The organisation rolled out a pilot programme in association with National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) and ICRISAT on providing nutritional requirements to girls of different ages in the State’s residential schools and hostels.
“We are working for the health of over 3 lakh children at Telangana residential hostels. So far, the pilot programme was implemented at anganwadis in Siddipet where girls were not getting enough iron-rich food supplements. The response was tremendous. We chose supplements such as Spirulina Chikki, Moringa Peanut Chikki, Amaranthus Chikki, Spirulina Ragi Biscuits and Moringa Jowar Biscuits,” Sandhya, senior coordinator of the foundation and working on food supplements, said.
Districts with a high prevalence of anemia are Khammam, Mahabubnagar and Nizamabad. The blood disorder is the leading cause of stunting and weakness in children, which eventually leads to poor cognitive skill development and affects the overall performance in education and sports.
Earlier, the foundation conducted ‘Iron for Life’ roadshow at Tankbund, Khairtabad and Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad to create awareness about iron deficiency and ways to fight it.