Help tribal girls overcome anaemia
Focus: Girl Child, Health
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IDEA Foundation have identified 13 young girls who are anaemic, with low haemoglobin counts. The News Feed below has a detailed update.
Anaemia has been called the ‘silent killer’. Studies suggest that India has the world’s highest prevalence of iron-deficient anaemia among women. Add to that the fact that 30% of girls are married off early, and at least 22% of them become mothers before even reaching adulthood, giving birth to underweight, at-risk babies. The statistics are even more grim for girls from tribal and slum communities.WHY IN TRIBAL COMMUNITIES
To stop the generational cycle of anaemia in marginalised communities where poverty and discrimination adversely affect adolescent girls, a holistic health programme that includes both nutritional supplements and self-help awareness is crucial, particularly one that ensures young, pubescent girls privacy and confidentiality in a friendly manner.
If we want to stop the cycle of vertical transmission of malnutrition from mother to child, we must invest in girls during their adolescence…[to] enable them to reach their full potential, while ensuring a brighter future for the generations that follow.
Adolescents can be key driving forces in building a future of dignity for all... For me, the acronym “SDG” also stands for 'Sustainable Development Generation,' and sustainability means engaging future generations today.
For too long adolescents have been the forgotten community of the health and development agenda. We cannot afford to neglect them any longer.
The Fundraiser is targeting to raise enough funds to enrol 100 underweight, anaemic girls to this programme. They will have a medical check-up at the start and at an interval of three to six months, depending on their health status, along with six awareness sessions on nutrition and healthy recipes throughout the year. Nutritional supplements will be provided to them all.
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We recently conducted an anaemia test camp with young girls from the Katkari tribe in Siddheshwarnagar near Kikvi village, Pune. Of the 28 girls tested, 13 were found to be anaemic with low haemoglobin count. While the normal range for haemoglobin in women is about 12, Reshma, one of the girls tested was found to be as low as 4.9.
The Katkari are a backward community, and the young women tested were all between 15 - 20 years of age, living in impoverished, unhygienic conditions.
The camp stressed on the importance and need for anaemia testing, and will be followed up with supplementary nutrition and diet support so these young girls are well on their way to good health.