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Public health interventions to improve maternal nutrition during pregnancy: a nationally representative study of iron and folic acid consumption and food supplements in India

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2020

Prashant Kumar Singh
Affiliation:
Division of Preventive Oncology, ICMR National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida, India
Ritam Dubey
Affiliation:
Division of Preventive Oncology, ICMR National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida, India
Lucky Singh
Affiliation:
ICMR National Institute of Medical Statistics, New Delhi110 029, India
Chandan Kumar
Affiliation:
Department of Policy Studies, TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi, India
Rajesh Kumar Rai
Affiliation:
Society for Health and Demographic Surveillance, Suri, West Bengal, India
Shalini Singh
Affiliation:
ICMR National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida, India
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Objective:

Despite a reduction in maternal mortality in recent years, a high rate of anaemia and other nutrient inadequacies during pregnancy pose a serious threat to mothers and their children in the Global South. Using the framework of the WHO–Commission on Social Determinants of Health, this study examines the socioeconomic, programmatic and contextual factors associated with the consumption of iron and folic acid (IFA) tablets/syrup for at least 100 d (IFA100) and receiving supplementary food (SF) by pregnant women in India.

Design:

We analysed a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of over 190 898 ever-married women aged 15–49 years who were interviewed as part of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) conducted during 2015–16, who had at least one live birth preceding 5 years of the survey.

Setting:

All twenty-nine states and seven union territories of India.

Participants:

Ever-married women aged 15–49 years.

Results:

Less than one-third of women were found to be consuming IFA100, and a little over half received SF during their last pregnancy. The consumption of IFA100 was likely to improve with women’s education, household wealth, early and more prenatal visits, and in a community with high pregnancy registration. Higher parity, early and more prenatal visits, contact with community health workers during pregnancy, belonging to a poor household and living in an aggregated poor community and rural area positively determine whether a woman might receive SF during pregnancy.

Conclusions:

Continuous monitoring and evaluation of provisioning IFA and SF in targeted groups and communities is a key to expanding the coverage and reducing the burden of undernutrition during pregnancy.

Type
Research paper
Copyright
© The Authors 2020

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