In this article, we will discuss Women’s Health (Current Situation). So, let’s get started.
Women’s Health (Current Situation)
- Growth in Risk of Anaemia: The National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 data (2019-20) show an increase in anaemia among adolescent girls by 5% when compared to NFHS-4.
- Pre-Pandemic Outcomes: The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey 2019 shows that even before the pandemic, consumption of diverse food groups among adolescents was low.
- Post-Pandemic Outcomes: The fallout of Covid-19 has further worsened dietary diversity, especially among women, adolescents and children.
- According to a study by the Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition, women’s dietary diversity in India declined by 42% during Covid-19 lockdowns as they consumed fewer fruits, vegetables, and eggs.
- Reduction in Supply of Nutrition Services: The lockdowns also led to the loss of mid-day meals and interruptions in Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) and nutrition education in schools for adolescent girls.
- This was compounded by challenges in providing nutrition services to out-of-school adolescent girls which further increased their vulnerability to poor nutrition outcomes.
- Need for Dietary Diversity: Adolescence is the window of opportunity where practices of dietary diversity can be built to correct nutritional deficiencies and replenish the body with much-needed nutrients, especially for girls.
- Micronutrient Deficiencies: Currently, 80% of adolescents suffer ‘hidden hunger’ due to micronutrient deficiencies. The trend is more prevalent in girls as they already suffer multiple nutritional deprivations.
- It is required to strengthen the initiatives to address deficiencies of not just iron and folic acid, but also vitamin B12, vitamin D, and zinc.