The National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 data revealed that India‘s 67% of children aged under-five have anaemia. It is a condition in which blood doesn’t have enough healthy blood cells.
In Maharashtra‘s financial capital – Mumbai, the numbers are much worse. The data shows that 72.8% of children living in the island city have anaemia, while in the suburbs, 65.6% of children have anaemia.
Anaemia indicates inadequate iron in the body that can lead to symptoms such as breathlessness, irregular heartbeat or malnutrition. It can be treated with an improved diet and iron supplements. However, despite having a national control programme India has been struggling to check it.
Factors such as maternal age, education and economic status have a role to play, cited experts. A study by Harvard University that was published in the ‘Nature’ journal in November 2019 stated that in 2015, 52.9% of children belonging to the richest household had anaemia. While 63.2% of children in the poorest household were anaemic.
In most of the states, there has been an increase in anaemic children. In Maharashtra, 68.9% of children were found anaemic.
Meanwhile, the NFHS-5 also revealed a rise in the instances of spousal violence, in the past five years. It further showed that India’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has declined from 2.2 to 2, which is lower than the replacement level.