IFA Facebook Post

Those who have been talking so much about the improvements in health system made during NRHM in Uttar Pradesh must remember that the government of Uttar Pradesh has no stock of Iron Folic Acid tablets and syrup since last one year now. I am amused to hear the plans of achieving full antenatal care in the state. The government has been asking ANMs to buy blood pressure instrument, blood and urine test kits etc. from the untied fund provided to them under NRHM so that the aim of providing 'full' antenatal care to all pregnant women can be fulfilled. However, it has not paid any attention to the apparent lack of IFA - a major component of antenatal care. It is surprising that a government, so desperate to cut down the maternal mortality, focuses only on measuring weight, height, blood pressure and hemoglobin of pregnant women rather than providing them adequate quantity of IFA which could actually reduce maternal mortality to a considerable extent.

The state has not been able to procure any IFA since last one year or so. Hence, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) are devoid of any IFA since then. Most of the women in rural areas especially poor and uneducated mainly depend on ASHAs and ANMs for IFA tablets and syrup. Since government has been providing IFA tablets for free in the past, people are not ready to buy them from the market where it is available but a higher price.

Iron Folic Acid deficiency during pregnancy can negatively impact the health of the woman during pregnancy as well as fetal development. An additional amount of IFA is required to meet pregnant woman's (and also of the featus in the womb) nutritional needs. The deficiency of iron causes anemia. The consequences of anemia in pregnant mothers include maternal mortality, higher risk of preterm births and low birth weight. Hence providing adequate quantity to IFA can contribute significantly to achieving health related Millennium Development Goals. According to NFHS-3, more than half of the pregnant women in UP suffered from anemia in 2005-06.
Like ·  · Unfollow Post ·  · 11 October at 22:34 near Portsmouth
  • 3 people like this.
  • Subhajit Bhattacharjee This is a hardcore reality ....
  • Anupam Verma The similar synerio can be made for Vit.A ... that effect U5 morbidity and mortality up to considerable extent...
  • Subhajit Bhattacharjee Supply chain management as per inventory management principles are neglected from Top to bottom -- No Vitamin A from GOI for last 2Yrs ,No STI drugs for long time , Vaccine Management as per Demand generated & not as per effective Vaccine Management tracking system.....
  • Anupam Verma replication of EVSM standerd is just like hard to creck a nut ,,, rational distribution of vaccine and logistics is totally demand driven and availability at RVS/DVS
  • Shyam Chakraborty Is Vitamins- particularly Vitamin A, is even needed if some kind of full stomach food is available? I do not remember if I have ever bought vitamins in my life- and my diet primarily consists of very rudimentary components (rice, lentils, a piece of fish- plenty of vegetables- and rarely a glass of beer or a sip of cognac...)
  • Neelanjan Roy In most states NRHM is run by IAS heads who seldom care about the field needs. Drs have little say in procurement process. This is my experience. What do you think?
    Yesterday at 01:08 via mobile · Like · 1
  • Neelanjan Roy Yes Shyam, agree that with a balanced diet need for supplements are unnecessary. We get vit A from dark green leafy vegetables and red and yellow coloured fruits. Fish liver oils are also rich source.
  • Dayal Bandhu Majumdar Shyam Chakraborty Sir, NRHM and this " Vit A " is not for us who use face Book and Internet . Those things are purely for " AMLASOLE" .
  • Shyam Chakraborty Well- for most of the FB-ites, my diet is much simpler and rustic. This is not much different from what you can get in any village. I admit to gulp ice creams occasionally- but that does not give me much of vitamins?
  • Shyam Chakraborty Well Dayal Bandhu Majumdar Babu- often I see doctors are prescribing vitamins and glucose to young kids. And their happy-sad face parents declaring that their kids do not want to eat anything and becoming thin and weak- while to me they look perfectly healthy! Sooner or later- this excessive glucose load and the sedate life style would unsurprisingly trigger diabetes! Can this be termed as an iatrogenic injury?
    8 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Shyam Chakraborty I did not wish to high jack Aditya's original post regarding the need for IFA- but my curiosity is also- if there is adequate food- and general eradication of H- pilori- would there be much need for IFA supplement?
  • Jagannath Chatterjee Shyam babu that is what I always stress upon. Health does not mean access to medication, it actually means being able to stay away from it. Does medicine mean veering away from common sense?
    3 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Aditya Singh The problem is of 'commission' in procuring drugs. What they get is a very small proportion of 'commission' (money) in this (IFA) procurement. The same happens with basic medicines such as paracetamol tablets. There is always a lack of these tablets. A...See More
  • Aditya Singh As far as vit. A, I find that it is available in at least in my district and being given to children by grass root level workers.
  • Shyam Chakraborty Availability of vitamins is one thing- but my point is, are they at all necessary? I am not clear why children would need Vitamin A in the first place? I believe they would be happier with 2 chapaties and some potato instead. Or for that matter- instead of a vaccince- slightly better sanitation!
  • Aditya Singh As you know, bringing about behavioral changes and improving socioeconomic status involves difficult, slow and long processes especially among rural mass characterized by rampant poverty (low and volatile incomes), illiteracy (poor education) and poorand ineffective public health care system (as you can see it at least in UP - a state of 200 million people). More than 60 years of Indian experience says so. You don't need any proof. "Provision of vitamin A supplements is inexpensive, quick, and effective way to improve vitamin A status. However, comprehensive control of vitamin A deficiency must include dietary improvement and food fortification in the long term. -WHO"
  • Shyam Chakraborty I do no think behavioral change is difficult. Three years back I was waiting at a North Bihar Rail Station as the Kolkata bound train was 8 hours late. Not a single person smoked at the platforms even though the smoking ban was posed only recently. I think the behavioral changes can be brought in a very short time.
  • Shyam Chakraborty While opinions may differ- I believe the zero-th priority in India should be food, education and basic sanitation. A close 1st is primary healthcare and a distant second is prophylactic measures like vaccination etc. We often see that the order is reversed ...
  • Aditya Singh Everybody knows that. There is a long discussion available on these issues. A lot has been researched what works and what not in rural India. There is something called political will. Until these issues become political priorities and pip issues of religion, caste and regionalism in the competition in order to be at the top of agendas of political leaders, one should not be too optimistic about India's future. "India mein sab aise hi dheere dheere chalta rahega, don't expect profound transformations in the health system overnight."