With a score of 57.1, Himachal Pradesh has ranked number three in the Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) index 2020-21 only behind Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. Madhya Pradesh emerged as number one in AMB Index 2020-21 with a score of 64.1 followed by Odisha that scored 59.3.
This is a major improvement from the previous positions of the state in this index. In the year 2018-2019, Himachal Pradesh was ranked 18.
Anemia remains a major public health issue with high prevalence across the country. Almost 50 percent of the pregnant women, 59 percent of children under five years of age, 54 percent of adolescent girls and 53 percent of non-pregnant non-lactating women of our country are anemic.
Considering the slow progress i.e., less than 1% per annum in reduction of anaemia from 2005 to 2015, the Government of India has launched the Anemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) strategy under the Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment (POSHAN) Abhiyaan. The target has been set to reduce anaemia by 3% per year.
The program covers the age groups of children 6-59 months, adolescents and women of reproductive age 15–49 years. The AMB aims to provide preventive and curative mechanisms through a 6×6×6 strategy including six target beneficiaries, six interventions and six institutional mechanisms, for all stakeholders to implement the strategy.
The strategy emphasizes on improving supply chain, targeted monitoring and continuous social mobilization using various channels of communication.
The score card and rankings in the AMB Index are based on certain parameters like coverage of IFA supplementation across selected target beneficiaries to support assessment of progress and performance of the programme.
A spokesperson informed that the State government under this program is providing prophylactic Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation. The government is also deworming the children. With the regular deworming of the school-going children being done by the State, the prevalence of Soil-Transmitted Helminths had decreased from 29% to 0.3% in a short span of three years.
Furthermore, the government has intensified year-round Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) Campaign, testing of anaemia and point of care treatment and Mandatory provision of Iron and Folic Acid fortified foods in Government funded health programmes.