India has the highest rate of anaemia in the world and this affects 55% of the country’s female population. Anaemia is the most common nutritional deficiency disorder and while it is both preventable and treatable – adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to developing the deficiency and are also at a higher risk of mortality. In addition to this, the lack of access to healthcare services combined with the lack of knowledge of anaemia means that adolescent girls are not being diagnosed and therefore, aren’t receiving the necessary treatment. The implications of being undiagnosed with anaemia are widespread; it impairs the health and well-being of adolescent girls and causes increased weakness, fatigue and lack of energy. This in turn hinders their development and ability to advance with their education.
In late 2017, Salt of the Earth are running a pilot project which will help 100 adolescent girls identify if they are suffering from anaemia. Portable haemoglobin analysers will be used to provide both an instant and accurate diagnosis of anaemia. The girls who receive a positive diagnosis will be provided with the necessary support on a case by case basis. This pilot project will create awareness of anaemia and encourage other adolescent girls to seek treatment.
SOTE are planning to deliver an expanded project reaching more adolescent girls in 2018 if this pilot project highlights a need.
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