The National Family Health Survey (2019-20) shows that 57% of women and 67% of children are anaemic in the country. This Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the rice that will be distributed in the public distribution system and other government schemes such as Midday Meal will be fortified with iron, folic acid and vitamin B12.
In this episode, Suno India’s Menaka Rao tries to understand if the fortification of rice will help reduce the anaemia levels of people in this country. In the process, we try to demystify the biological mechanism of anaemia and how just pumping in iron in the bodies does not necessarily work. Menaka speaks with senior scientists Dr HN Mishra, the head of the Agricultural and Food Engineering department IIT Kharagpur, Dr Rajesh Kapur who worked as a scientist in the department of biotechnology now the Vice-Chancellor of People’s University in Bhopal, Dr Madhavan Nair, retired from National Institute of Nutrition and Dr Anura Kurpad, department of physiology, St John’s Hospital, Bengaluru.
Reporting and research - Menaka Rao
Co-host and audio editing - Rakesh Kamal
Do we really know what goes into our food? - Suno India
(PDF) Perspective: When the cure might become the malady: the layering of multiple interventions with mandatory micronutrient fortification of foods in India
National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5)
Inclusion of guava enhances non-heme iron bioavailability but not fractional zinc absorption from a rice-based meal in adolescents
INTENSIFIED NATIONAL IRON PLUS INITIATIVE (I-NIPI)
(PDF) Hemoglobin concentration and anemia diagnosis in venous and capillary blood: biological basis and policy implications: Venous and capillary anemia diagnosis
Evaluation of haemoglobin cut-off for mild anaemia in Asians - analysis of multiple rounds of two national nutrition surveys
WHO technical meeting on considerations to determine haemoglobin concentrations to define anaemia in the lifecycle
Singrauli 1st MP district to supply fortified rice in PDS