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title:A Comparative Study of Alternate Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation Regimes in Childhood Anaemia

Author:Bhuwan R Sharma, Hemant D Mahajan

Keywords:Anaemia, IFA supplementation, Prevalence, Under five children, Urban slum

Type:Original Article

Abstract:Introduction: The prevalence of anaemia among children less than five years of age in India is around 70%. Anaemia in young children puts them at a higher risk of experiencing health problems such as stunted growth, mental retardation, and increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of IFA supplementation (daily vs. biweekly vs. weekly regime) on haemoglobin levels of young children. Materials & Methods: A total 740 children in age group of six months to five years were included in this community based interventional study using Systemic random sampling. The children having mild to moderate anaemia were then divided into three groups A, B and C by simple random sampling and were given Iron and Folic acid supplementation daily, biweekly and weekly respectively. Follow up data was collected after 3 months and analysed using appropriate tests. Results: Prevalence of Anaemia was 91.1% among study participants. Comparison after 3 months showed significant change in haemoglobin levels in all three groups with mean improvement of 1.31 gm%, 0.89 gm% and 0.85 gm% in group A, B and C respectively. However, no significant difference was noted among the groups in pre as well as post intervention phase. Conclusion: Weekly regime is as effective as daily or biweekly regime in improving haemoglobin levels in children. Moreover, it has better compliance, lesser side effects and cost of therapy. So, the same should be recommended for prophylaxis as well as treatment of mild to moderate anaemia cases.

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