Mumbai: Survey reveals decline in anaemia among women

23 May,2024 06:55 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Eshan Kalyanikar

Health of mothers in slum settlements showed improvement after they regularly consumed iron supplements provided by BMC

The BMC distributes iron supplements to adolescent girls and pregnant women across the city. Representation pic

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A sample survey of 1,038 women over three years in the slum settlements of Dharavi, Mankhurd, and Govandi showed a drop in anaemia among the pregnant and lactating population from 52 per cent in 2021 to 38 per cent in 2024. The findings were part of a report published by the Society for Nutrition, Education, and Health Action (SNEHA) along with the HT Parekh Foundation. Furthermore, the report also showed improvements in child-feeding practices among mothers in the city's slum pockets. All respondents were aged between 25 and 29 and were mothers of children between 0 to 5 years.

The BMC distributes iron supplements to adolescent girls and pregnant women across the city to tackle the problem of anaemia. A couple of months ago, distribution was halted due to a lack of iron tablets. Community health workers told mid-day that the stock has been fluctuating for the past few years. "Between August and February, we had not received stock of iron supplements. It was only by March that it was restocked," said Sunita Sutar, a community health worker in Bandra West. Sangeetha Vadanan, a representative from SNEHA, said the NGO conducts awareness activities in parallel to BMC's programme. "We identify areas where additional intervention is needed in collaboration with the BMC ward offices and community health workers," Vadanan said.

While BMC's programme covers a vast population, SNEHA only works with 16,000 women, out of which the thousand-odd were selected for the survey. "Mumbai has a significant number of changing migrant populations, so if there is a new family that moves into the settlement, our workers help them to connect with the health workers in their area," Vadanan said.

The report also showed that exclusive breastfeeding rates increased from 59 percent in 2021 to 74 percent in 2024. It also showed better immunisation coverage for vaccine-preventable diseases, with an increase from 78 percent to 87 percent.

No. of women surveyed

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brihanmumbai municipal corporation dharavi mankhurd govandi mumbai mumbai news
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