With 52 per cent of adolescent girls in the Capital affected by anaemia, the Delhi Government launched its ‘Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation Programme’ (WIFS) on Monday. The programme will be implemented under the ‘Chacha Nehru Sehat Yojana’ in all schools under the Delhi Government, aided schools and those under the New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Cantonment Board. It will be administered to students from Class VI to Class XII.

It will also cover adolescent girls in the age group of 10-19 years through Anganwadi centres where they will receive weekly iron and folic acid supplementation tablets on every Wednesday. Besides this, all children between 12-19 years will receive de-worming tablets and syrups once a year. This WIFS programme will reach out to 18 lakh children and the de-worming programme will benefit 35 lakh.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who launched the programme, said just as Delhi became the first State to eliminate polio, it should also be the first to eradicate anaemia. She emphasised that having two tablets a week is not enough to eliminate anaemia, we have to ensure proper nutrition, sanitation, cleanliness, hygiene and physical activities also.

Delhi Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. A. K. Walia said anaemia in adolescents is an entirely preventable disorder and low haemoglobin levels leads to various dire consequences. He said the WIFS programme will not only improve capacity and productivity of children and adolescents but also enhance enrolment in schools and increase attendance, increase infant survival and health, reduce maternal deaths and eliminate gender disparity.

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