Harsh Vardhan to health officials -- launch 'anaemia awareness campaign'

Dr Harsh VardhanHarsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister on Saturday directed health officials from Government hospitals to immediately launch an 'anaemia awareness campaign' in Mussoorie to curb the death rate caused due to iron-deficiency anaemia. The Health Minister who was on a one-day visit to the Uttarakhand hill station, noticed the condition at the healthcare centres and advised the Government health officials and medical authorities to bridge the gap in the clinical health delivery system for the public of the town. (Read: Adolescents in India are anaemic: Health Minister)

'Mussoorie has a surprisingly high disease burden for a region with a salubrious climate. This visit helped me experience first hand the problems of the people and the lack of penetration of the national health mission,' he said. 'I will consult the state government on the steps that could bring relief to this region in the short to long term,' he said. Mussoorie also has a high prevalence of tuberculosis despite the Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course (DOTS) programme, a control strategy recommended by the World Health Organisaion (WHO). (Read: Indian scientists craft portable blood-disorder detection kit)

People also suffer from chronic bronchitis due to smoking which is highly prevalent. More than half of the people here have Vitamin D deficiency. Emphysema, osteo-arthritis, hyper acidity, high blood pressure, heart disorders and diabetes are also very common. The health minister visited the two government health facilities in Mussoorie, the 51-bed Community Health Centre and the 14-bed St. Mary's Government Hospital, which is awaiting a facelift and whose original structure is in ruins. (Read: Coming soon special 'yuva clinics' for adolescent girls)

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Anemia causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

In India 80% children and 70% pregnant women are afflicted with anemia. Red blood cell (RBCs or erythrocytes) is a type of blood cell which contains hemoglobin, an iron-containing protein, which is responsible for oxygen transportation around the body. In anemia there are fewer red blood cells or haemoglobin than normal. This causes a reduction in amount of oxygen carrying capacity in the bloodstream.

Causes and Types

anemia can be caused by chronic blood loss due to gastritis, ulcers, piles, bowel cancer, prolonged use of painkillers, etc. anemia due to blood loss is also common in women who have heavy menstrual bleeding or have had multiple pregnancies.

anemia may also be caused by decreased or defective production of red blood cells by the body. This can happen due to certain vitamin and minerals deficiencies. The mineral iron is necessary to make haemoglobin of the red blood cell. When the body does not produce enough haemoglobin due to lack of iron in the body iron deficiency anemia occurs. Lack of iron could be due to poor diet, heavy menstruation, poor absorption due to surgical removal of part of the stomach or small intestine, Crohn's disease, etc. The metabolic demands during pregnancy or childhood growth spurts can also increase iron consumption and thereby deplete iron stores in the body. To know more read Anemia causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

With inputs from IANS

Image Source: IANS

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