POSHAN Abhiyaan or the National Nutrition Mission is a priority programme of the current government. The programme is under the aegis of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), Government of India, and one of the goals in this involves controlling anemia through the Anemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) program. The target is to reduce anemia by 3% per year to help in attaining the end goal of achieving a malnutrition free India by 2022.
The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (2016-2018) conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) came out with important findings on anemia among other indicators among children and adolescents in India, with a focus on nutritional indicators among children of age groups 0-4, 5-14, and 15-19 years of age. It specified that 41% of children under 5, 24% of school-age children, and 28 % of adolescents were anemic. Moreover, the incidence of anemia was twofold in females (31%) to that of males (12%).
In Rajasthan, as per National Family Health Survey III, the prevalence of anemia in adolescent girls was 53.9% while in adolescent boys, the prevalence of anemia was 30.8%. Looking at the criticality of the situation, several private stakeholders came forward to mitigate the issue and Suposhan program was envisaged by Narayana Health as a pilot intervention in Jaipur District in partnership with Britannia Nutrition Foundation, National Health Mission, Rajasthan and the Jaipur Education Department.
Narayana Health, pledged partner of the IMPAct4Nutrition platform, is a chain of multi-specialty hospitals, heart centres, and primary care facilities with its headquarters in Bengaluru, India. The group takes the commitment to fulfil its corporate social responsibility beyond the mandatory norms to ensure it helps the disadvantaged and helps the government in the attaining social welfare goals.
What is Suposhan Program?
Suposhan program was envisaged as a pilot intervention in Jaipur District in collaboration with Britannia Nutrition Foundation, National Health Mission & Education department in Rajasthan. The program, modelled as an action research study, aimed at introducing iron fortification which would supplement the existing Weekly Iron-Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) program of the government.