National nutritional anaemia control programme in India

Indian J Public Health. Jan-Mar 1999;43(1):3-5, 16.


PIP: This article presents the strategies of the National Nutritional Anemia Control Program (NNACP) in India. The program, implemented through the Primary Health Centers and its subcenters, aims at decreasing the prevalence and incidence of anemia in women of reproductive age. It focuses on three vital strategies: promotion of regular consumption of foods rich in iron, provisions of iron and folate supplements in the form of tablets to the high risk groups, and identification and treatment of severely anemic cases. The program solicits the support of various departments in implementing the dietary modification and supplementation measures. Pregnant women are recommended to have one big tablet per day for 100 days after the first trimester of pregnancy; a similar dose applies to lactating women and IUD acceptors. Preschool children (ages 1-5 years) are recommended to take one small tablet per day for 100 days every year. Adult tablets contain 100 mg iron and 500 mg folic acid, while pediatric tablets contain 20 mg iron and 100 mg folic acid. For treatment of severe anemia, women in the reproductive age group are recommended to take three adult tablets per day for a minimum of 100 days. Drinking tea is discouraged, as it may inhibit the absorption of iron in the stomach. There are proposed initiatives to improve coverage, quality, and efficiency of the NNACP in the Ninth Plan period. In October 1997, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India organized a National Consultation on Control of Nutritional Anemia to review the epidemiology of nutritional anemia and the existing policy on nutritional anemia control.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • National Health Programs / organization & administration*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / mortality
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control


  • Iron, Dietary
  • Folic Acid