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06 Mar 2017

Over half of all Indian under-5 children are anaemic

7.2 cr Indian children under-5 children are anaemic

According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), 2015-16, over 58% of all children aged below five years are suffering from anaemia, i.e. they have insufficient haemoglobin in their blood.

This alarming condition is primarily a result of poverty which leaves children exhausted, vulnerable to infections and could affect their brain development.

In context

7.2 cr Indian children under-5 children are anaemic

7.2cr kids anaemic

Over half of all pregnant women are anaemic

The proportion of anaemic children has declined from 69% in 2005-06 to 58% in 2015-16.

The 58% figure translates to a total of 7.2 crore children.

More than half of all pregnant women are also anaemic, which automatically leads to their newborn child being weak. Overall, 23% of men and 53% of women aged 14-49 are anaemic.

Other parameters

Stunting and underweight parameters improve, wasting worsens

The NFHS survey revealed that 38% of all children under five are stunted in 2015-16, 21% are wasted while 36% are underweight.

In 2005-06 stunting stood at 48%, wasting at 20% and underweight at 43%.

The WHO defines wasting as low weight as compared to height, stunting as low height for age and underweight as low weight for age.

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WHO says parameters indicate "poor socio-economic conditions"

The World Health Organization said high proportions of these parameters indicate "poor socio-economic conditions" and "suboptimal health and/or nutritional conditions," which refers to inadequate food, unhealthy living conditions and public health facilities.

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