Updated: June 20, 2021 10:15:46 am
With an aim to prevent anaemia among pregnant women in Maharashtra under the umbrella of the Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) programme, state health authorities are conducting a screening programme to check haemoglobin levels. “Across the state, we are treating 70,000 anaemic women so far,” said Dr Aniruddha Deshpande, assistant director, (maternal health), state Family Welfare Bureau Office, Pune.
He was speaking at an e-Summit – episode-18 of the HEAL-Thy Samvaad series on ‘Strengthening Anaemia Detection and Diagnosis’ — organised by the HEAL Health and supported by HemoCue.
The e-summit was held to discuss various aspects of anaemia such as the challenge of diagnosing the condition accurately in rural India and how Point of Care and accurate data collection can help in winning the war against anaemia.
On the status of AMB in Maharashtra, Dr Deshpande said that in order to achieve the AMB mission, all health workers need to be trained.
Dr J L Meena, joint director, National Health Authority, said, “The National Digital Health Mission is more focused on tech-enabled devices and especially the Point of Care device to prevent anaemia. We focus on all technologies in testing and detection as India is heading towards digitisation, so the PoC programme will be useful… Capacity building of medical staff and awareness amongst the masses is very important to achieve the target of Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB)”.
Dr Hema Diwakar, former president of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India, said, “Test, Treat and Talk – the TTT model is the key strategy to fight the war against anaemia. Healthcare and technology should go hand in hand with each other as testing is the only way to show the mirror. Point of Care testing is very important. We are bringing a lot of testing devices to fight against the pandemic. Food fortification awareness is also required to be inculcated in the masses.”
According to the National Nutrition Survey, 30 to 50 per cent anaemia cases are linked to iron deficiency. Introducing iron-folic acid supplementation across the populations is required and digital testing is also an important aspect, speakers at the summit said.
Dr Hrishikesh Pai, president-elect of FOGSI, said, “To achieve the objective of AMB, integration is very important and the role of the government and the involvement of doctors is also equally important. For this, we need to form a council. A national advocacy council is required where all stakeholders need to come together to be counselled. We need to come together to help the government in the AMB campaign.”
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