Status and Effectiveness of Implementation of Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation Scheme in Schools in Central India
1. To study the coverage of weekly iron folic acid supplementation scheme in schools of Wardha block.
2. To know about prevalence of anaemia among students benefitting with WIFS (WIFS group) and those who are not getting benefit from WIFS (Non WIFS group)
3. To study the factors affecting the implementation of the scheme.
Study design: Study was conducted in adolescents of rural schools of Wardha Block. Mixed method was used for the study. During the first stage both Quantitative and Qualitative technique (In-depth interview) was used to collect information about implementation of the Weekly IFA supplementation scheme in various schools. Second stage study was a cross-sectional study to assess the prevalence of anemia among WIFS group and Non WIFS group. In-depth interviews of key holders like medical officers of concerned schools, district drug distribution incharge and principal of concerned schools were taken to know about the factors affecting scheme implementation.
Results: Coverage of WIFS scheme was found to be 11.54%. The mean haemoglobin level was 11.84 +1.82 mg/dl among WIFS group while the mean haemoglobin levels among Non-WIFS group was 11.8+1.56 mg/dl. These values are not found to be statistically significant. The in-depth interviews led to conclusions regarding lack of monitoring and supervision of the programme, poor supply of WIFS tablets in the district drug store, which leads to further reduction in distribution of tablets to the ANM, lack of training of school teachers regarding drug administration and management of any side-effects, lack of IEC material in the school which may be used to increase compliance and adherence of students towards WIFS.
Conclusion: To gain maximum benefit for such an important and Highly demanding scheme, proper information regarding Weekly Iron Folic acid Supplementation (WIFS) should be communicated by appropriate channels so that awareness about the modus operendi and benefits of the program can reach to beneficiaries. Periodic trainings of teachers and health workers should be held jointly regarding the programme. Supply of medicine should be uninterrupted.
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