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  • 20 December, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Anaemia in India

Anaemia In India

Critics have recently claimed that while anaemia in adolescent girls, boys, and women has been extensively studied, anaemia in men has been largely ignored.

Anaemia in Men:

As per National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5):

  • It found that three out of ten men in rural areas were anaemic; prevalence of anaemia was more in rural areas than in urban areas — one of five urban men are anaemic, while three out of every ten rural men are anaemic.
  • Prevalence of anaemia was found to be higher (34.7%) among men who were underweight compared with men who were overweight (19.3%).
  • Men who consumed alcohol and smoked had “slightly higher” occurrences of anaemia, and older men were found to be more vulnerable.
  • Men in the southern States had lower anaemia prevalence (18.5%), while prevalence was highest in the eastern region (34.1%).
  • Anaemia prevalence was 27.2% in the north region, 28.9% in west, 26.9% in northwest and 25% in the central region.

The findings suggest the need to recognise anaemia among men as a public health issue”.

What is anaemia?

  • Anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or the concentration of haemoglobin in them is lower than normal.
  • Haemoglobin is required to carry oxygen, and if you have too few or abnormal red blood cells, or not enough haemoglobin, your blood's capacity to carry oxygen to the body's tissues will be reduced.

Anaemia Causes:

  • Nutritional deficiencies, including iron deficiency, are the most common causes of anaemia.
  • Deficits in folate, vitamins B12 and A, as well as haemoglobinopathies and infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV, are all important causes.


  • It is characterised by fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and drowsiness.
  • Pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable, with an increased risk of maternal and child mortality.


  • While iron deficiency anaemia is the most common type, it is relatively simple to treat with dietary changes.
  • Other types of anaemia necessitate health interventions that may be more difficult to obtain.
  • It has an impact on children's cognitive and physical development, as well as adult productivity.
  • Anaemia is a sign of poor nutrition as well as poor health.
  • It may also have an impact on other global nutritional issues such as stunting and wasting, low birth weight, and childhood overweight and obesity as a result of a lack of energy to exercise.
  • School performance in children and reduced work productivity in adults can have additional social and economic consequences for the individual and family.

Anaemia Facts and Figures:

The Lancet Global Health journal:

  • It was discovered that nearly one in every four men (23.2%) in India between the ages of 15 and 54 were anaemic (mild, moderate, or severe).

Estimates from the WHO:

  • According to the WHO, 42% of children under the age of five and 40% of pregnant women worldwide are anaemic.

National Family Health Survey No. 5 (NFHS-5):

  • It was discovered that three out of every ten men in rural areas were anaemic.
  • Rural areas had a higher prevalence of anaemia than urban areas.

Interventions by the Government:

Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB):

  • It is a life-cycle strategy aimed at reducing anaemia in women, children, and adolescents.
  • It includes anaemia testing using digital methods as well as point-of-care treatment.

Scheme for Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS):

  • Under the umbrella of ICDS, the government implements Anganwadi Services, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, and a Scheme for Adolescent Girls as targeted interventions to address the country's malnutrition problem.

POSHAN Abhiyaan:

  • It is the nation's flagship nutrition mission to improve nutrition among children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.
  • Implementation of community-based programmes
  • The implementation of community-based programmes for severe acute malnutrition, Jan Andolans, and community-based events, as well as increased collaboration across departments, has resulted in the implementation of a comprehensive approach to malnutrition.

Midday Meal Plan:

  • It is an Indian school meal programme designed to improve the nutritional status of school-age children.

Way Forward:

  • Men are less likely to be iron deficient because they do not lose iron through menstruation every month.
  • Men do not lose iron unless they are bleeding or have abnormal haemoglobin, such as thalassemia or sickle cell anaemia.
  • Policy Expansion: The benefits of existing anaemia-eradication programmes and policies should be extended to men as well.
  • To reduce the prevalence of anaemia, targeted interventions among vulnerable groups of rural men are recommended.
  • Need for precise calculation measures: The use of capillary blood samples to measure haemoglobin may have overestimated the prevalence of anaemia in rural men.
  • In women, capillary blood samples can increase anaemia prevalence by 33% to 50%.
  • Proper nutrition: The need of the hour is to increase the variety of foods available to men in order to improve iron and vitamin intake without the use of chemicals.

Source: The Hindu

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