Anemia Mukt Bharat: A Comprehensive Initiative to Combat Anemia in India


Introduction: Anemia continues to be a significant public health challenge in India, particularly among women, children, and adolescents. Recognizing the urgent need to address this issue, the Government of India launched the Anemia Mukt Bharat initiative in 2018. This national program aims to eradicate anemia through a multi-sectoral approach encompassing health, nutrition, and socio-economic interventions. This re

port provides an overview of the Anemia Mukt Bharat initiative, its key components, achievements, challenges, and future directions.

Key Components of Anemia Mukt Bharat:

  1. Screening and Diagnosis: The initiative emphasizes widespread screening for anemia, especially among vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children. Screening efforts are conducted through various platforms, including healthcare facilities, schools, and community outreach programs. Early detection enables timely intervention and treatment, preventing complications associated with anemia.
  2. Nutritional Interventions: Improving nutritional intake is central to combating anemia. Anemia Mukt Bharat promotes the consumption of iron-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, pulses, fruits, and fortified foods. Iron and folic acid supplementation is also advocated, particularly during pregnancy and childhood, to address nutritional deficiencies and prevent anemia.
  3. Behavior Change Communication (BCC): Raising awareness about the importance of nutrition and the consequences of anemia is crucial. The initiative conducts behavior change communication activities to educate communities about healthy eating practices, optimal nutrition during pregnancy and infancy, and the significance of iron supplementation. These efforts empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health and dietary habits.
  4. Institutional Strengthening: Anemia Mukt Bharat focuses on strengthening health systems at various levels, from grassroots to tertiary care facilities. This involves capacity building for healthcare workers to effectively screen for anemia, provide nutritional counseling, and manage cases requiring medical intervention. Additionally, infrastructure enhancements and supply chain management improvements are undertaken to ensure the availability of essential resources for anemia management.
  5. Collaboration and Convergence: Recognizing that addressing anemia requires a multi-sectoral approach, the initiative promotes collaboration between health, nutrition, and other relevant sectors such as education, agriculture, and women and child development. By leveraging resources and expertise across different domains, synergistic efforts are made to tackle the underlying determinants of anemia and improve health outcomes.

Achievements and Challenges:

Anemia Mukt Bharat has made significant strides in raising awareness, improving access to screening and treatment, and enhancing nutritional interventions. The initiative has contributed to an increase in the number of individuals screened for anemia, greater awareness about preventive measures, and improved coverage of iron supplementation programs.

However, several challenges persist, including inadequate infrastructure in rural areas, limited access to healthcare services, socio-cultural barriers, and persistent disparities in nutrition and healthcare delivery. Additionally, sustaining momentum and ensuring the long-term effectiveness of interventions require continuous monitoring, evaluation, and course correction.

Future Directions:

Moving forward, Anemia Mukt Bharat must strengthen implementation mechanisms, enhance community engagement, address equity concerns, and foster innovation in anemia prevention and control strategies. This entails greater investments in healthcare infrastructure, human resources, and research to inform evidence-based interventions and policies. Moreover, sustained political commitment, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and community participation are essential for achieving the ultimate goal of anemia eradication in India.


Anemia is a significant public health challenge in India—iron deficiency anemia results in impaired cognitive and motor development in children and decreased work capacity in adults. The effects are most severe in infancy and early childhood. In pregnancy, iron deficiency anemia can lead to perinatal loss, prematurity, and low birth weight (LBW) babies. Anemia Mukt Bharat strategy is implemented to reduce anemia among six beneficiary age groups – children (6-59 months), children (5-9 years), adolescents (10-19 years), pregnant and lactating women and women of reproductive age group (15-49 years) in life cycle approach through the implementation of six interventions via the robust institutional mechanism.

The six interventions under the Anemia Mukt Bharat strategy are as follows:

i) Prophylactic Iron Folic Acid Supplementation

Age group Dose and Regime for IFA Supplementation
6 – 59 months of age
  • Biweekly, 1 ml Iron and Folic Acid syrup
  • Each ml of Iron and Folic Acid syrup containing 20 mg elemental Iron + 100 mcg of Folic Acid
  • Bottle (50ml) to have an ‘’uto-dispensers and information leaflet as per MoHFW guidelines in the mono-carton
5- 10 years children
  • Weekly, 1 Iron and Folic Acid tablet
  • Each tablet contains 45 mg elemental Iron + 400 mcg of Folic Acid, sugar-coated, pink-color
School-going adolescent girls and boys, 10-19 years of age, and Out of school teenage girls, 10-19 years of age
  • Weekly, 1 Iron and Folic Acid tablet
  • Each tablet containing 60 mg elemental iron + 500 mcg Folic Acid, sugar-coated, blue color
Women of reproductive age (non-pregnant, non-lactating) 20-49 years
  • Weekly, 1 Iron and Folic Acid tablet
  • Each tablet containing 60 mg elemental Iron + 500 mcg Folic Acid, sugar-coated, red color
  • All women in the reproductive age group in the pre-conception period and up to the first trimester of the pregnancy are advised to have 400 mcg of Folic Acid tablets daily
Pregnant women and lactating mothers (0-6 months child)
  • Daily, 1 Iron and Folic Acid tablet starting from the fourth month of pregnancy (that is from the second trimester), continued throughout pregnancy (minimum 180 days during pregnancy) and to be continued for 180 days, post-partum
  • Each tablet containing 60 mg elemental Iron + 500 mcg Folic Acid, sugar-coated, red color

ii) Periodic deworming

  • MoHFW is implementing the National Deworming Day (NDD) program, under which biannual mass deworming for children and adolescents aged 1-19 is carried out on designated dates – 10 February and 10 August every year.
  • Pregnant women are provided services under the strategy through antenatal care contacts (ANC clinics/ VHND) for deworming (in the second trimester).

iii) Intensified year-round Behavior Change Communication Campaign for a0 compliance to IFA and deworming; b) Appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) with emphasis on adequate and age-appropriate complementary foods for children 6 months and above; c) Increase intake of iron-rich, protein-rich and vitamin C-rich foods; dietary diversification; food fortification; d) Promoting practice of delayed cord clamping.

iv) Testing and Treatment of anemia using digital methods (Digital Invasive Haemoglobinometer) in field settings, Sub Health Centres, Health and Wellness Centres; and Semi-auto analyzer in health facilities PHC and above; and point of care treatment. Anemia Management protocols to be followed are mentioned in Operational Guidelines for Anemia Mukt Bharat

v) Mandatory iron and folic acid-fortified foods are provided in government-funded health programs.

vi) Intensifying awareness, screening, and treatment of non-nutritional causes of anemia in endemic pockets, with a special focus on malaria, hemoglobinopathies, and fluorosis.


Anemia Mukt Bharat represents a concerted effort by the Government of India to tackle the pervasive problem of anemia and improve the health and well-being of its population. While significant progress has been made, sustained efforts, resources, and collaborative action are imperative to realize the vision of a nation free from anemia. By addressing the root causes of anemia through a comprehensive approach, India can ensure a healthier and more prosperous future for all its citizens.

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