With over 57% of women in the age group of 15 to 49 years are anemic, India has the highest prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy, and is also home to the largest number of anaemic pregnant women in the world, medical experts of Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre (MMHRC), said, while stressing the urgent need for the country to “choose to challenge” itself to bring anemia in women to the world average of about 33% by focusing on early nutritional intervention strategies targeting iron deficiency in girl children and adolescent girls.
S. Padma, Senior Consultant and HOD, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and P.L. Alagammai, Consultant, Medical Gastroenterology at a joint press conference on “Improving Women’s Health: Challenges, Treatment, and Prevention of Health Issues”, organised on Saturday in connection with International Women’s Day 2021, which falls on March 8, with the theme of: “Choose to challenge”, pointed out the finding of the recent National Family Health survey that anaemia in women in the age group of 15 to 49 years has increased from about 50% in 2015-2016 to over 57% in 2019-2020.
It’s a cause for concern as anemia is the second most common cause of maternal death in India. Anaemia during pregnancy is also linked to a host of risks such as a preterm or low-birth-weight baby, blood transfusion, postpartum depression and poor neonatal health among others.