Anaemia is a condition of having a low
number of red blood cells to carry adequate
oxygen to the body’s tissues. Iron deficiency
anaemia and vitamin deficiency anaemia are
very common among children. According to
WHO data, in 2019, global anaemia prevalence
was 39.8% (95% UI 36.0%, 43.8%) in children
aged 6–59 months, equivalent to 269 million
children with anaemia. There are a few causes
of anaemia among children; being premature
or low birth weight, poverty, lack of proper
diet or iron-rich foods, etc. It is very common
to experience all the criteria’s which can
cause anaemia especially amongst children
residing in the urban slums. Slums are
generally situated in congested, unhygienic
areas with little to no health and hygiene
awareness among them. Various studies have
shown that there is a chance of having an
anaemic baby if the mother is anaemic. The
primary goal of this study is to know the prevalence of anaemia amongst children in
urban slums. For this study, children aged 6–
59 months were taken. Mothers and primary
care givers were the respondents. There is a
significant relationship between low birth
weight and anaemia. It is also found that
babies of mothers who had family support and
had all their antenatal check-ups are less
anaemic and malnourished. According to
World Health Organization, weight at birth
of 2500 g is considered a low-birth weight.
To measure the haemoglobin level, an Hb test
was conducted with a haemoglobin metre in
the field by health experts.
Malnutrition, anaemia all these nutritional
deficiency diseases are common among
children, not only in India but worldwide also.
The study will aid in the implementation of
appropriate measures to prevent anaemia
among children living in Kolkata’s urban
Data analysis: Data was entered in M.S Excel
sheet & was analysed using appropriate
database. Data was presented in the form of
frequency tables & graph/charts.
Low birth weight baby: Low birth weight
(LBW) is defined as a birth weight of less than
2500g (up to and including 2499 g), as per
the World Health Organization (WHO). [5, 6,
Anaemia: Anaemia in childhood is defined
as a haemoglobin (Hb) concentration below
cut off levels established by the World Health
Organization: <11 g/dl in children aged 6–59
months, <11.5 g/dl in children aged 5–11
years and 12 g/dl in older children (aged 12–
From table 1, majority of the Head of the
family are male. Only a fewer population of
women are head of the family.
Around 68% of the children which is more
than half of the total children population were
found to be anaemic. The percentage of low
birth baby was found to 58.7%.
It is also observed that majority of the children
are not exclusively breastfed for the initial first
6 months of birth. Exclusive breastfeeding
lowers the risk of various respiratory tract infections and diarrhoea. It also protects
infants as well as children from iron
deficiency anaemia. The percentage of
anaemia was greater amongst children who
were not breastfed exclusively rather than the
ones who were exclusively breastfed.
It is also evident that the children whose birth
weight was lower had a pre disposition to be
One of the major causes of low birth weight
can be inadequate dietary consumption of
foods during pregnancy. Some other causes
are successive pregnancies, lesser number of
antenatal check-ups, etc
It can also be observed from the data that
females have a greater tendency to be
anaemic rather than males
Although iron deficiency is the main cause of
anaemia, the condition’s genesis is complex
and includes aspects such as consumption of
a proper diet, bioavailability of the
Compared to women who do not have anaemia
during pregnancy, pregnant women with
haemoglobin levels below 11 g/dL have a
greater chance of giving birth to infants with
low birth weight.
In order to improve the nutritional status of
these children, certain points must be
promoted. Promotion of antenatal and postnatal check-ups, exclusive breastfeeding and
a low-cost diet rich in iron will not only reduce
anaemia in children but also promote a
positive health amongst the children residing
in these slums.
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Conflict of interest: None
Role of funding source: None