A survey released recently released by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS 4) shows that more than 58% of all children in India, under the age of 5 years are anaemic; i.e, suffer from a low quantity of haemoglobin in the blood.
A survey released recently released by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS 4) shows that more than 58% of all children in India, under the age of 5 years are anaemic; i.e, suffer from a low quantity of haemoglobin in the blood. Anaemia is a condition where due to the loss of haemoglobin the blood, a body goes through extreme exhaustion and remains vulnerable to infections. In children, it also hampers the development of their brains. The NFHS 4 survey, as reported by ToI, was carried out in 2015-16 covering 6 lakh households and showed that 38% of the children in the age of a group of fewer than 5 years were stunted, 21% wasted and 36% of them were found to be underweight.
Although, it must be reported that that the internationally accepted criteria for the health of children have improved since the last 2005-06 survey. However, the levels of malnourishment, poverty etc are still very high and respective improvements needed in the sectors have been too slow. According to the data revealed in 2011, the projection of the total number of children under the age of 5 years in India was 12.4 crore. So the NFHS data reveals that about 7.2 crore children were anaemic, 5 crores stunted, 2.6 crores wasted and 4.4 crores were underweight. The WHO was of the opinion that such levels were clear indications of poor socio-economic conditions and sub-par health and nutritional conditions.
It must be noted that the data for Uttar Pradesh has not been made public owing to the upcoming elections. Although poorer states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam etc have higher than national averages on these criteria. Advanced states such as Haryana and Gujarat had=ve slightly higher numbers but these numbers are still unacceptable by international standards. Tamil Nadu has 51% anaemic children whereas Kirelala has over 1/3rd. Although, these numbers are the accumulated results of decades of poor economic policies by governments, it is high time the Narendra Modi-led BJP government take notice of the situation and find a solution to the problem.