Most women, children in Bihar are anaemic: study

July 29th, 2008 - 4:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, July 29 (IANS) Sixty-seven percent of women and 78 percent of children in Bihar, one of the most underdeveloped states of India, are anaemic, according to a report. The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) III by the Mumbai-based International Institute for Population Sciences has revealed that of the anaemic children, 30 percent are mildly anaemic, 47 percent are moderately anaemic and two percent have severe anaemia.

According to data released here Tuesday, about 56 percent of the anaemic children under five years of age are too short for their age, which indicates that they have been undernourished for some time.

The survey, conducted between 2005 and 2006, revealed that the number of anaemic children is seven percent higher than seven years ago.

“A larger number of anaemic children have been found than at the time of NFHS-II,” an NFHS official said.

About one in four or 27 percent children were too thin, which was the result of inadequate food intake or recent bout of illness.

Sixty-seven percent of women in the state were found to be anaemic and 45 percent of them were underweight.

“Three-fourths of the women who were breastfeeding were anaemic. The anaemia among married women had increased by eight percent since 1998-99.

However, government official downplayed the survey’s findings.

“The survey’s findings are outdated as the state has made rapid development on health and family welfare indicators since 2006,” said D.K. Raman, additional director of the state health society.

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