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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 44-50

Prevalence of anaemia and compliance to weekly iron-folic acid supplementation programme amongst adolescents in selected schools of urban Puducherry, India

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Swaroop Kumar Sahu
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_336_20

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Context: Adolescents constitutes 21% of total Indian population. Iron deficiency anaemia has remained as a major nutritional problem amongst adolescents. To overcome this problem, Government of India started weekly iron-folic acid supplementation (WIFS) in 2012. Aims: Amongst adolescents in selected schools of urban Puducherry, to determine the prevalence of anaemia, proportion of those compliant to WIFS and to assess the sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with anaemia and compliance to WIFS. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted amongst school-going adolescents (10–18 years) in selected schools of Urban Puducherry. Data were collected using semi-structured, self-administered and pretested questionnaire. Haemoglobin estimation was done using a digital haemoglobinometer. Details regarding intake of iron and albendazole tablets were recorded. The anaemia status was evaluated as per World Health Organization guidelines. Results: The prevalence of anaemia was found to be 62.7% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 58.2–67.0). Proportion having mild, moderate and severe anaemia were 27.3%, 32.5% and 2.8% respectively. The proportion of adolescents compliant to WIFS was 67.7%. Late adolescents were significantly more associated with anaemia (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR]: 1.7 95% CI: 1.0–3.0) as compared to early adolescents. Males were more compliant to iron-folic acid (IFA) tablets (aPR 1.4 95% CI: 1.0–1.8). Conclusions: More than half of adolescents were anaemic. This study emphasises on the fact that stricter supervision by teachers will result in better compliance to WIFS program. Strategies to improve WIFS compliance, imparting knowledge regarding IFA intake and involvement of school teachers will help to tackle anaemia amongst adolescents.

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