World Health Organisation estimates that India has the highest prevalence of anaemia in all the groups- children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and adult men and women as compared to other developing countries. Various surveys undertaken to estimate prevalence of anaemia in the country have shown that over 70 % of preschool children are anaemic. Anaemia begins in childhood, worsens during adolescence in girls and gets aggravated during pregnancy. Poor iron stores at birth, low iron content of breast milk and low dietary iron intake through infancy and childhood results in high prevalence of anaemia in childhood. Worm infestation, a common problem among children also adds to the problem of anaemia.
For these reasons Government of India has started WIFS programme. Under this programme all the VIth to XIIth std. students from Government schools and school dropout adolescent girls in Anganwadis will be given Weekly Iron Folic Acid tablets and Albendazole (deworming) tablets twice a year. The programme will be jointly operated through Directorate of Health Services; Department of Women & Child Development and Directorate of Education. Subsequently it is proposed to extend this programme to the Government aided schools.
Nodal teachers and anganwadi workers are reponsible for distribution of tablets under this programme.
WIFS programme was launched at the hands of Shri. Laxmikant Parsekar, Hon’ble Minister for Health on 13th June 2013 at V.P. Hall, Agarawado-Pernem.
Goa has started the WIFs programme in 133 government schools and 1268 Anganwadi centres in which 25,878/- adolescent girls and boys have covered. Also teachers and Anganwadi workers are given WIFS tablets under this programme.