The Government has decided to implement the Weekly Iron and Folic Acid
Supplementation (WIFS) Programme for adolescents. WIFS
Programme is based on the empirical evidence that weekly supplementation of
100mg Iron and 500µg Folic acid is effective in decreasing prevalence of
anaemia in adolescent age group. The programme is free of cost and Iron and
Folic Acid deworming tablet, along with testing and
counselling services would be provided completely free.
The progamme will be
implemented in both rural and urban areas and will cover school going
adolescent girls and boys from 6th to 12th class enrolled in
government/government aided/municipal schools through the platform of Schools
and out of school adolescent girls through the
platform of Aganwadi centers.
This programme will cover approximately 13 Crore beneficiaries and will address the challenge of high
prevalence and incidence of anaemia amongst adolescent girls and boys (10-19
years). Modalities of implementation are as below:
of supervised free Weekly Iron-folic Acid Supplements of 100mg elemental iron
and 500µg Folic acid to target population.
strategy under which preferably Monday to be declared as “Anaemia Control day”
or “WIFS day”.
of target groups for moderate/severe anaemia and referring these cases to an
appropriate health facility.
de-worming (Albendazole 400mg), six months apart, for
control of helminthes infestation.
and counselling for improving dietary intake and for taking actions for
prevention of intestinal worm infestation.
with key stakeholder Ministries like Ministry of Women and child Development
and Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Anaemia has been a long standing problem in India and the country has a high prevalence. However, there has been a 5% decline in
incidence of anemia amongst adolescents between
National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-II (1998-99) and National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-III (2005-06).
The prevalence of anaemia (Haemoglobin value of <12 g% in
girls and Haemoglobin value of < 13g% in boys) is high amongst
adolescents as per the report of NFHS-III and the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau
It is estimated that more than 5 Crores adolescents are anaemic in India.
According to NFHS -III data, over 55 %
of adolescent boys and girls in the age group of 15-19 years are anaemic.
Adolescent girls in particular are more vulnerable to anaemia due to the rapid
growth of the body and loss of blood during menstruation. According to
NFHS-III, almost 56% of adolescent girls aged 15-19 years suffer from some form
of anaemia. Of these, 39% are mildly anaemic while 15% and 2% suffer from
moderate and severe anaemia respectively.
In India, the highest prevalence of anaemia is reported between the ages
12-13 years, which also coincides with the average age of menarche. With
increase in age, the prevalence of anaemia among girls remains almost stagnant,
while among boys, the prevalence rate reduces.
The reasons for anaemia amongst
Growth spurt leading to increased demandof Iron in the body
- Poor dietary intake of Iron
Worm infestation and high rate of infection
Increased loss of Iron due to onset of menstruation (in girls)
The above information was laid in the Rajya Sabha today
by the Union Minister for Health &
Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad.