CHANDIGARH: A data by National Family Health Survey-4 revealed that over 75% of women aged between 15-49 are anaemic in Chandigarh.
The national average is 51% and this survey shows that the number of women suffering from iron deficiency is higher in the state.
The neighbouring states, Punjab have 56.6% of children and 53.5% of women are anaemic. In Haryana, 56.1% of women and 72.3% of children have an iron deficiency.
Chandigarh Administration launched “Mission Anaemia-free Chandigarh” to intervene in the nutritional habits of the city’s population, under the National Nutrition Mission (Poshan Abhiyan). Husbands and in-laws of the women will be counselled regarding the deficiency in women.
Parminder Kaur, an Anganwadi supervisor from Chandigarh, said that children will eat what their mother eats whereas women's dietary habits are heavily influenced by their husbands or in-laws. In many parts of the city, women are barely able to make decisions on their own dietary habits.
Women are unable to improve their habits due to their family's influence despite being counselled on nutrition and given iron and folic acid tablets.
Kaur's team had to call the husbands and mothers-in-law and school them on how they should positively influence their wives or daughters-in-law.
Sarita Godwani, a consultant from Poshan Abhiyan in Chandigarh said that they conduct workshops and health camps to check the status of women and children in the city.
Poshan Abhiyan launched the “T3” campaign were three steps; talking, testing and treating to prevent anaemia in the city.
They want women and children to take in more iron-rich foods to treat or prevent anaemia.
Poshan Abhiyan as well as the guidelines of the Integrated Child Protection and Development Scheme (ICPDS) mandate workers to focus on the health aspect.
Anganwadi workers and ASHA workers are taken in to check the health of girls, pregnant women and children. By checking their haemoglobin, they check if they are healthy or not.
Anganwadi workers in the city conduct recipe-making contests every month in order to motivate women to come up with recipes for affordable iron-rich food.