March 1, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

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ADDRESSING ANAEMIA IN INDIA: ICMR’S INITIATIVE FOR NON-INVASIVE TESTING

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TAG: GS 2: SOCIAL ISSUES

THE CONTEXT: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recognized the persistent issue and highlighted the importance of addressing anaemia, particularly among pregnant women and school-going adolescents.

EXPLANATION:

ICMR’s Call for Expression of Interest (EoI)

  • The ICMR, based in Delhi, has initiated a call for Expression of Interest (EoI) from eligible organizations, companies, and start-ups involved in the production of ‘non-invasive hemoglobinometers.’
  • These devices are pivotal in the effective screening and testing of anaemia.

Focus on Non-Invasive Hemoglobinometer Development

  • The ICMR emphasizes the significance of digital methods and point-of-care treatment for anaemia.
  • They seek a simple, user-friendly, and non-invasive hemoglobinometer that is acceptable, especially among young children.
  • While ‘Make in India’ non-invasive hemoglobinometer devices have emerged in recent years, their accuracy, bias, and precision need validation before being integrated into the AMB program.

Prevalence of Anaemia in India

  • According to the National Family Health Survey 5 (2019-21), anaemia prevalence in India is alarmingly high across various demographics:
    • 0% in men (15-49 years), 57.0% in women (15-49 years), 31.1% in adolescent boys (15-19 years), 59.1% in adolescent girls, 52.2% in pregnant women (15-49 years), and 67.1% in children (6-59 months).

ICMR’s Role and Proposed Activities

  • The ICMR outlines its pivotal role in the initiative, intending to conduct a hospital-based clinical study to validate the efficacy of promising non-invasive hemoglobinometer devices against the gold standard method of measuring haemoglobin.
  • Furthermore, the ICMR is poised to offer technical support, leveraging its team of experienced scientists.
  • This support would encompass study planning, product validation, protocol development, data analysis, outcome assessment, and potential product enhancement, establishing a collaborative partnership between the ICMR and potential collaborators.

Institute Support and Collaboration

  • Through its institutes, the ICMR plans to facilitate and support research and clinical studies involving new technologies or products related to anaemia detection and management.
  • These collaborations will be carried out in a professional and mutually agreed-upon manner and timelines, fostering a conducive environment for advancements in this critical area of healthcare.

Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) program:

  • In 2018, the Government of India launched the Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) strategy to reduce prevalence of anaemia in women, children and adolescents through life cycle approach.
  • The 6X6X6 strategy aims to reduce anaemia among six beneficiaries age groups through implementation of six interventions and six institutional mechanisms.
  • The UT of Jammu and Kashmir is implementing Anaemia Mukt Bharat strategy as per GOI guidelines.
  • In the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, all Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) services are provided across all the districts.
  • Further, two aspirational districts (Kupwara district and Baramulla district) are identified under the Aspirational District programme to prioritize the reproductive health of women and children, including anaemia.
  • The steps taken by Government including the age specific interventions for reduction in anaemia among women and children across the country are provided at Annexure I.

Conclusion

  • The ICMR’s proactive approach, inviting collaborations and seeking advanced non-invasive testing solutions for anaemia detection, underscores its commitment to combatting this pervasive health issue.
  • The initiative’s success could significantly impact the diagnosis and treatment of anaemia, particularly among vulnerable populations like pregnant women and adolescents, contributing to improved healthcare outcomes across the nation.

SOURCE: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/icmr-initiates-steps-to-provide-easy-to-use-non-invasive-testing-to-tackle-anaemia-in-india/article67676623.ece/amp/

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