38,000 gynaecologist & obstetricians from across India pledge to get an Hb test and set an example for everyone in India to take this first step towards an Anaemia free India

Did you know that lower iron levels in the body = lower HB levels= lower immunity?

That’s exactly what 38,000 doctors from across India underline, while they swear to make an Anaemia free India and spread the word on the significance of Complete blood count (CBC) for HB test among women and young adolescence. 

With over 5 million people in India being affected by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the need to fortify immunity has never been felt so paramount before. There has been a spike in the consumer interest towards health and wellness and so 38000 gynaecologists across India for ‘More Than Bara’ Initiative by Federation of gynaecologist & Obstetrician Society of India (FOGSI)& Emcure Pharmaceuticals for mission Anemia Free India, take this as an opportunity to reinstate the significance of iron in fortifying immunity and eradicating Anaemia from India. 

‘We are more than 38000 for #More than Bara’, these doctors passionately proclaim as they take on the mantel to spread awareness among women on the significance of HB tests.

As per these gynaecologists, lower Iron levels increase the risk of contracting infections and can lead to Anaemia a condition in which a person has an insufficient number of red blood cells or quantity of haemoglobin, which reduces the capacity of their blood to carry oxygen. 

Especially pregnant women are at a much higher risk. Dr Jaydeep Tank reveals, “Pregnant women with anaemia are twice as likely to need blood transfusions, as compared to those without the condition. Yet most pregnant women aren’t screened early in their pregnancy for iron deficiency, which can lead to severe complications during childbirth.” 

These gynaecologists are coming together for a brighter and more positive future for the women of India by head-on challenging anaemia. Their vision is to take a collaborative multi-pronged approach to ensure the desired medical outcomes. They strongly believe that this is a good time to create more awareness about Anaemia as people are now serious about preserving their health.

Dr Alpesh Gandhi, President, FOGSI informs that Anaemia is widespread in India—58.6 per cent of children, 53.2 per cent of non-pregnant women and 50.4 per cent of pregnant women were found to be anaemic in 2016, as per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS).  Moreover, pregnant women and young girls are more at risk of Anaemia. “What people don’t know about Anaemia is that this medical condition not only causes more health illnesses but also aggravates pre-existing health problems such as diabetes, heart ailments and other comorbidities. Therefore it is important to identify and treat Anaemia”, he stresses.

Speaking about the vision behind this mission, Dr Gandhi says, “Just as a widespread government awareness programme about COVID 19 has helped us to save many lives and brought about the required behavioural change towards health, hygiene and immunity, we hope to create a similar impact for Anaemia awareness too. Anaemia is extremely important to build immunity and in India, women are the most affected so this initiative is extremely crucial at this point of time and we hope to reinstate this significance. COVID 19 has shown that if healthcare provider, media and government come together to create a strong awareness programme we can achieve the desired goals. Likewise, for Anaemia, we need similar collaborations between NGOs, health influencers, healthcare providers and government to have a concerted effort to end this Anaemia endemic in India.”

As advocates of health, these 38,000 doctors have created a network by which they can keep track of statistics, medical programmes and medical outcomes around anaemia. Their first step in this endeavour to get their CBC test done to know HB and spread the word through social media campaigns to highlight the growing dangers of anaemia and ways to tackle it.  

Dr Tank explains further, “Apart from making people awareness about Anaemia, we also intend to create awareness among physicians. So we would provide information to physicians on recommending iron supplements, suggest basic investigation for Anaemia among women etc. The hope is that apart from spreading awareness, we will be able to use simple steps such as iron supplementation, providing information about nutrition in women’s health in general to alleviate the problems associated with Anaemia.

Dr ShantaKumari highlights that in the last 70 years India has been trying to control Anaemia through various government programmes under the National Health Mission but we have not been able to conquer it as per desirable level. “There are various reasons for the lack of complete success of these programmes. Our paternal society’s mindset towards nutrition among girls and boys is one such example. However, there are some winds of change but with little success.  Our vision behind this initiative is to create a strong voice for Anaemia control.  We need constant reinforcement on the significance of adding Iron supplements to our dietary plan to ensure healthy individuals and a healthy nation.  This requires constant effort from healthcare providers like us and support from government and the media. Also, the government must rope in media to achieve higher medical outcomes from these programmes. For instance, even media channel must have a government mandate of running health advocacy ads at least for 5 seconds per hour to ensure that we re-establish healthy habits and health consciousness among people,”  she maintains. 

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