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Millennium Post

Iron deficiency high among Delhi's women, children

New Delhi: The national Capital is grappling with the burden of under nutrition, with more than half of women in reproductive age suffering from anemia, revealed the Global Nutrition Report 2017.
As per the survey report, anemia impacts around 46.8 crore non-pregnant women worldwide. Reportedly, over 53 per cent of women are suffering from anemia in the state.
It has also revealed that 63 per cent of children also suffer the same fate.
"Despite increase in healthcare awareness, little efforts to eliminate anemia have been far from adequate in the state. But with the recent program for anemia launched by NDMC, we can see discussion gaining ground," said a doctor.
Stunted children who are too short for their age due to lack of nutrients, suffer irreversible damage to brain capacity.
Anemia in women of reproductive age is a serious condition that can have long term health impacts for mother and child, and overweight adult women is a rising concern as women are disproportionately affected by the global obesity epidemic, the report said.
Proper access to medical supplies is of prime importance. Health experts around the state cite various reasons for the lack of red blood cells in Indian women.
"As anemia is caused due to iron deficiency in the body, it has been seen that women are most affected by the disease. This is primarily because a majority of women in India do not have a balanced and nutritious diet because of various social and economic factors," Dr Shilpa Ghosh said.
"In addition, pregnancy and blood loss due to menstruation causes iron deficiency in women. Since India faces the double challenge of obesity and malnutrition, children are gravely anemic too.
"The hormonal changes during various stages of adolescence, lactation, menopause, and pregnancy create more demand for iron and calcium. Blood loss also happens during child birth, which contributes to anemia. Iron deficiency results in impaired formation of hemoglobin," explained Dr Ghosh.
One of the causes for anemia is the inability to absorb iron by the body.
"People who have suffered intestinal surgeries or diseases may have reduced ability to absorb iron. The lack of nutrition is the major factor that is contributing to anemia. Iron deficiency may also increase due to deficiencies in folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin A or B12," Dr Kuldeep Kumar said.
He added that women, especially in the Indian context, are known to put their dietary and health needs secondary to family due to various socio-cultural factors.
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