Thursday February 21, 2019

How The Burden of Anaemia Weighs Heavy On Women In India

Through efforts, India can reduce the effects of anaemia in women and children.

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Anaemia
Through preventative measures in a school-based programme, women and families can learn more about iron deficiency and its consequences on their health and their future children.

Today, over 51% of Indian women between the ages of fifteen to forty-nine are anaemic, according to the Global Nutrition Report in 2017. Anaemia is a common, yet neglected health issue that affects children, adolescent girls, and women in India and across the globe. In fact, over 55% of Indian women experience anaemia and it is often considered as a direct or indirect cause of maternal deaths. As a result, the government is taking preventative measures to make the country anaemia-free.

Government’s efforts to fight Anemia

Since 1975, the Indian government has purposed a goal towards fighting anaemia by providing iron-folic acid supplies to pregnant women in addition to prenatal blood tests. However, in spite of such efforts, the distribution, maintenance, and free supply are still limited due to the lack of knowledge. So, how are women surviving the efforts of this common iron deficiency?

In the state of Rajasthan, the maternal mortality rate is 445 to 100,000 births. A woman named Raj who was 21 years old and pregnant with her third child, stated her lack of knowledge about her nutrient deficiency. In fact, out of the 30 tablets of folic acid she had received, she had only taken one. When asked why she described the discomfort and nausea she felt after taking it.

Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to properly transport oxygen to the body’s tissues.

Ayurvedic medicine for Anaemia

Recent reports claim that traditional medicines have proven to increase the risk of Hypophosphatemia, a condition caused by low levels of phosphate. In fact, the Injectafer infusion side effects may result in individuals with hypophosphatemia may exercise severe swelling and clammy skin. Although other research suggests that women should boost their daily consumption of yogurt and ghee, they must also include pure turmeric to help balance the body’s dosha, according to Ayurvedic medicine.

Today’s Women of India

Through the voices of women in Rajasthan, Pradesh, and rural India, the next step is to redefine the current rate of anaemic patients and boost prevention in young girls before they reach pregnancy. Through preventative measures in a school-based programme, women and families can learn more about iron deficiency and its consequences on their health and their future children.

As such, it can be addressed by raising awareness, interventions, and recognizing the weakness of current strategies in prevention. Through such efforts, India can reduce the effects of anemia in women and children.

Next Story

HPV Vaccination May Bring An End To Cervical Cancer In India by 2070

Combining high uptake of the HPV vaccine and cervical screening could eliminate cervical cancer as a public health hazard in 149 out of 181 countries by 2100 and up to 13 million cases of cervical cancer by 2050.

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cancer
Cervical cancer is the fourth-most common cancer among women, with an estimated 570,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide in 2018, of which around 85 per cent occur in less developed nations. Pixabay

Human papillomavirus (HPV) screening and vaccination must be taken up on a war footing in countries like India to prevent 15 million cervical cancer deaths among women by 2050, a Lancet research said.

Causing the second-highest number of deaths among Indian women among cancer variants, cervical cancer, in a majority of cases, is caused by HPV, a group of more than 150 viruses.

The efforts might even result in cervical cancer being eliminated as a public health hazard in India by 2070-79, according to the study, published in The Lancet Oncology journal.

Combining high uptake of the HPV vaccine and cervical screening could eliminate cervical cancer as a public health hazard in 149 out of 181 countries by 2100 and up to 13 million cases of cervical cancer by 2050.

Cancer
“Awareness about cervical cancer is extremely poor among common people; that makes containing the disease a challenge,” Anjila Aneja, Director at Fortis La Femme, New Delhi, told IANS. Pixabay

If the high coverage of HPV vaccination and cervical screening cannot be achieved globally, over 44 million women could be diagnosed with cervical cancer in the next 50 years with two-thirds of these cases and an additional estimated 15 million deaths, would occur in countries with low and medium levels of development.

“More than two thirds of cases prevented would be in countries with low and medium levels of human development like India, Nigeria, and Malawi, where there has so far been limited access to HPV vaccination or cervical screening,” said lead author Professor Karen Canfell from the Cancer Council New South Wales in Australia.

However, large disparities exist in cervical screening and HPV vaccination coverage among countries.

“Awareness about cervical cancer is extremely poor among common people; that makes containing the disease a challenge,” Anjila Aneja, Director at Fortis La Femme, New Delhi, told IANS.

“While societal barriers prevent women from seeking medical help in advance, women are forced to come out at a later stage when the disease has reached an advanced stage,” she said.

cancer
Screening and broad-spectrum HPV vaccines could potentially prevent up to 84-90 per cent of cervical cancers, the study said. Pixabay

However, Canfell says that despite the enormity of the problem, their findings suggest that “global elimination is within reach with tools that are already available, provided that both high coverage of HPV vaccination and cervical screening can be achieved.

Cervical cancer is the fourth-most common cancer among women, with an estimated 570,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide in 2018, of which around 85 per cent occur in less developed nations.

Screening and broad-spectrum HPV vaccines could potentially prevent up to 84-90 per cent of cervical cancers, the study said.

Also Read: Indian IT Act Silent On Social Media’s Manipulative Role
“Diagnostic tests such as the pap smear are effective in identifying cancerous tendencies.

“However, these tests are available with a limited number of providers and largely within the cities. This makes screening sporadic and leaves out women who live in rural areas,” Aneja added. (IANS)