According to a latest report issued by UNICEF, India has the largest number of anaemic married women and children. There is more than one reason behind this growing problem in India.
UNICEF India Child Health and Nutrition Chief Werner Schultink said that Women enjoy low social status in sub-urban areas in the country. Most of them eat low quality food.
They are not able to go to local healthcare facilities due to high costs. Moreover, some genetic problems are also behind the growing anaemic problem in married women and children.
The National Family Health Survey-111 (NFHS-111) reveals that in the age group 15 to 49, more than 56.2 per cent married women were found anaemic in 2006.
The rate was 51.8 per cent in 1999. The problem has risen up by almost five percent in last seven years.
The United Nations Population Fund, Britain`s Department of International Development (DFID) and Avahan, an initiative of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have jointly published the survey report.
The report says further that almost 79.1 per cent of children in the age group of three to six years were anaemic in 2006. The rate was at 74.2 per cent in 1999.
Werner Schultink said further that in western countries such as US and European countries, the report says that 20 per cent of pregnant women are anaemic.
Even in the developing countries of South Asia such as Indonesia, only 30-40 percent women are reportedly anemic. In India, the NFHS data says that after 1992, the rate anaemia has gone up.
As far as Indian states are concerned, Assam (72%) is the worst affected state. Haryana (69.7%) ranks at second place in the list and Jharkhand (68.4%) places at third place.
The data does not differ even in the case of comparatively developed place such as Delhi. In Delhi, some 63.2 per cent children in the age group of three to six year and 43.4 per cent women in the age group of 15 and 49 years of age are reportedly anemic.