56% of young girls, 30% of young boys in India anaemic
One out of two adolescent girls suffer from anaemia in India which has the world's largest adolescent population.Besides 30% or one of every three young boy in the country is also anaemic, putting a large chunk of the country's young population at varied health risk. Anaemia during pregnancy increases the risk of mortality and illness for the mother as well as the new born. Children born to an anaemic mother also often have low reserves of iron which if left unaddressed can effect their growth and development.
According to Unicef's assessment, malnutrition is also significantly prevalent among adolescent girls in India while there is increased iron needs associated with physical growth and puberty. The government weekly iron and folic acid (WIFS) supplementation programme will mainly target adolescent girls and boys between class six to class twelve as well as out of school adolescent girls.