Of all girls studying in government colleges across the district, 84% are anaemic. This was revealed by a recent survey of haemoglobin estimation conducted by the district health department.
The survey was conducted in Rohtak town, Sampla and Meham blocks by using Cynemet method, recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO).
A total of 4,055 girls of the Government College for Women, Rohtak; Neki Ram Sharma College, Rohtak; Government College for Women, Sampla block; Government College for Women, Meham block; and Government College, Lakhan Majra; participated in the survey.
According to the survey report (HT has a copy), of the total 4,055 girls, only 647 girls are normal medically, meaning that their hemoglobin level is above 12.
Haemoglobin level of 1,735 girls, which constitutes 42.79% of the total sample size, ranges between 7 and 10, while that of 1,553 girls, which constitutes 38.30% of the sample, ranges from 10 to 12. Haemoglobin of 16% girls is less than 7.
Civil surgeon office doctors, who were part of the survey team, said the survey showed that girls from rural areas, where homemade food and agriculture-based food is preferred over modern diet, were less anaemic.
In 2011, when Asha Hooda, wife of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had come to inaugurate a blood donation camp in Kiloi assembly constituency, 98 out of 100 girl volunteers were found to be anaemic.
Thereafter, the state government ordered a special anaemia estimation and treatment campaign in Kiloi to detect the percentage of anaemia in women aging between 15 and 45 years.
Dr Dinesh Khosla, pediatrician, said girls suffered from iron deficiency due to poor food habits.
"People in Haryana have a misconception that only milk is good for children. But, the reality is that milk and its products are not rich in iron. Therefore, a diet comprising milk or its products only will lead to anaemia," he said.
Suggesting a way to contain iron deficiency, he said: "Complimentary feeding, which starts when a child is six months old, should be rich in green vegetables that are major source of iron. Also, traditional food such as bathua (goosefoot), gur (jaggery), leaves of carrot, raddish and bajra (pearl millet) should be included in a child's diet from early age."