Detection, Diagnosis and procurement of Point of Care (PoC) devices for Anaemia remains an issue in rural Rajasthan

Jaipur( Rajsthan)24th June : The healthcare ecosystem in India has been disrupted due to COVID. However, some chronic health problems such as Anaemia is prevalent in India. With 51% of anaemic women, India tops the list of nations with the most anaemic women and children. To tackle anaemia, the GoI has started Anaemia Mukt Bharat in 2018, which aims to foster fresh strategies to eradicate anaemia.

Lately, to discuss various aspects of anaemia such as the challenge of anaemia accuracy in rural India and how Point of Care (PoC) and accurate data collection can help in winning the war against anaemia, an e-Summit – the episode-18 of the HEAL-Thy Samvaad series on ‘Strengthening Anaemia Detection and Diagnosis’ was organised by the HEAL Health and supported by HemoCue, a global pioneer in Point of Care (PoC) Hb testing.

Elaborating on the status of Anaemia Mukt Bharat in Rajasthan during the e-Summit – the episode-18 of the HEAL-Thy Samvaad series, Dr Prem Singh, State Nodal Officer, NHM, Rajasthan said, “Detection, Diagnosis and procurement of Point of Care (PoC) devices for Anaemia remains an issue in rural Rajasthan. Handling of new smart devices still a challenge. In rural Rajasthan, the ANMs are still using the old procedure of testing which is not the proper way for testing. Iron supplement is are very important but detection, diagnosis and testing ecosystem needs to be rediscovered.”

Elaborating on how Point of Care (PoC) devices and accurate data collection can help in winning the war against anaemia during e-Summit, Dr J L Meena, Joint Director, National Health Authority (NHA) said, “National Digital Health Mission is more focused on tech-enabled devices and especially the Point of Care (PoC) device to prevent anaemia. We focus on all invasive technologies in testing and detection. As India is heading towards digitisation, so the PoC programme will be useful. Prophylactic iron and deworming are also important aspects. Capacity building of medical staff and awareness amongst the masses is very important to achieve the target of Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB).”

Speaking on the testing ecosystem to fight anaemia, Dr Hema Diwakar, Former President, Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India, (FOGSI) said, “Test, Treat and Talk – the TTT model is the key strategy to fight the war against anaemia. Healthcare and technology should be married to each other. Testing is the objective way to showing the mirror. The Point of Care (PoC) testing is very important. We are bringing a lot of testing devices to fight against the pandemic. Food fortification awareness is also required to be inculcated in the masses.”


Deliberating on different aspects of Anaemia during ‘Strengthening Anaemia Detection and Diagnosis’, Dr Ajay Khera, (Former Commissioner, Mother & Child Health Programme, Ministry of Heath) & currently Country Representative at EngenderHealth, India, said, “Anaemia is a huge problem as every alternate Woman and Child are Anaemic in India. Anaemia is a lifecycle problem because an anaemic mother produces an anaemic child and again the anaemic girl child becomes a mother and gives birth to another anaemic child and the lifecycle continues. As per National Nutrition Survey 30 to 50% anaemia is attributed to iron deficiency. Introducing iron-folic acid supplementation across the populations is required. And digital testing is also an important aspect.”

Throwing light on Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB), Dr Hrishikesh Pai, President-Elect, Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India, (FOGSI) said, “To achieve the objective of Anaemia Mukt Bharat, integration is very important. And the role of the government and the involvement of doctors is also equally important. For this, we need to form a council. A national advocacy council is required where all stakeholder need to come together to be counselled. We need to come together to help the government in the AMB campaign.”

Speaking on the importance of nutrition and iron deficiency, Dr Hemalatha, Director, National Institute of Nutrition, ICMR said, “Phase-1 of NFHS-5 report reveals that in 22 states and union territories over 50% women and children are anaemic. According to Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) data some states like Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand are showing higher prevalence of anaemia compared to other states like Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. But what is interesting to note that in rural areas iron deficiency is low but the rate of anaemia is high and in urban areas, iron deficiency is high and anaemia is low.”