If you want to understand the prevalence of malnutrition in a region, one place to start would be the rate of anaemia among women in that region. Why?
Anaemia, according to the World Health Organization, is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or the haemoglobin concentration within them is lower than normal. Haemoglobin is needed to carry oxygen and if you have too few or abnormal red blood cells or not enough haemoglobin, there will be a decreased capacity of the blood to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. This results in symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness and shortness of breath, among others.
Anaemia is a serious global public health problem that particularly affects young children and pregnant women. WHO estimates that 42% of children less than 5 years of age and 40% of pregnant women worldwide are anaemic.
According to the WHO, India has one of the highest rates of anaemia in the world.
So how does the Northeast perform in this regard? As our data shows, there is a high prevalence of anaemia across all states. This data comes from the National Family Health Survey Round 4 and 5 and is collated by the India Data Portal.
Among northeast states, the situation is particularly alarming in Assam and Tripura, where over 65% of women are anaemic (across rural and urban areas). Nagaland, on the other hand, is much better than Assam and Tripura, with anaemia found among less than 30% of women. However, even in Nagaland, over 28% (across rural and urban areas) of women are anaemic.
This shows that the state and the central government need to ramp up their efforts to reduce anaemia among women at war footing.
India Data Portal is a one-stop open-access portal for journalists to access, interact with, and visualise information, data and knowledge related to agriculture and financial inclusion, while also aiding other beneficiaries – researchers, students, policymakers, administrators, NGOs, and entrepreneurs. The portal contains a data repository with processed and documented public datasets on related themes.
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