Intervention of iron-folic acid in school children

Intervention of iron-folic acid in school children

Adolescence is a significant period of human growth and maturation, unique changes occur an many adult patterns are established. Following early childhood (<2 yr), during the adolescent growth spurt, the risk of iron deficiency and anaemia reappears (Dallman et al. 1980). Iron deficiency affects the ability of adolescents to read, write and learn also. The USAID/OMNI/PCD consultation concluded, “iron supplementation resulted in significant improvement in school measurements of verbal and other measurable skills among primary school children and adolescents” (Draper 1997). The present study was conducted to estimate the magnitude of aneamia and to see the impact of IFA supplementation on prevalence of it.

The total prevalence of anaemia is found to be 63%. In the same manner, the prevalence of anaemia up to 26% in Ludhiana city and 25% in rural school children in Kerala is also reported (Longfils et al. 2005 and Gangadharan et al. 1997). In this study prevalence of anaemia among girls is found to be 54% against reported the prevalence of 60% in rural school girls in one study (Sheshadri 1999). Another study reported 37.6% girls to be anaemic in urban school of Surat and 40% in urban slums of Baroda (Basu 2003 and Shankar 2001). It indicates that adolescent’s need special attention, particularly girls, as they will play a very important role for the health of their family in future. After the intervention, there is 14.8% decrease in the prevalence of anaemia and 0.99 gm% increase in mean Hb in anaemic students. Study conducted in Vadodara has reported 20.5% decrease in prevalence of anaemia and 0.64 gm% improvement in mean Hb level after IFA supplementation once a week for 17 months in adolescent girls (Kotecha et al. 2002). Compliance with IFA tablet is almost 100% with almost nil side effects as the tablet is given after meal in afternoon on alternate days. This signifies that with periodical administration of IFA tablet, there is definite improvement in Hb level and very good compliance.