Over the last few months many of the women at MarketPlace had been complaining of headaches, dizziness, weakness and other nagging ailments. We thought it was a bit strange for everyone to have such frequent complaints and decided to consult some doctors. They told us that one of the most common causes of fatigue and blackouts amongst women in India is Anaemia. There can be several factors that contribute to this- improper nutrition, eating habits, too many child births etc.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in its latest report said that more than 50 per cent of women in India are suffering from anaemia (lack of blood). The report also stated that most of the women are less than the average weights. Anaemia creates problems for pregnant women and their babies.
We created a PowerPoint presentation for the women that talked about Anaemia, its causes and why it is important to get yourself tested. The doctors recommended a 6 month program during which the women would be tested twice and a course of nutritional supplements and dietary recommendations would be given to them. We arranged for a health camp for the women. It involved checking height and weight, BMI, body index mapping, consultations with the doctors and a session on women’s health.
The first round of blood tests revealed a shocking result- almost 85% of the women were anaemic and out of this 20% were severely anaemic. The normal Haemoglobin count in an adult woman should be anywhere between 11 and 14. But most women tested at 7 to 8. The doctors prescribed iron supplements, folic acid, calcium and multi vitamins to the women which we will distribute from MarketPlace.
We’ve distributed medicines to each of the women and the results have already started to show. Meeta tells us about her experience. “I used to feel quite tired and would frequently have body aches. The blood tests showed that my haemoglobin was quite low- only 9 when it should be about 12. Since I started taking the medicines, the aches and pains have almost completely disappeared. I feel more energetic than I used to and am able to go through the day without feeling tired and fatigued.”