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Background

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) Programme to meet the challenge of high prevalence and incidence of anaemia amongst adolescent girls and boys. WIFS is evidence based programmatic response to the prevailing anaemia situation amongst adolescent girls and boys through supervised weekly ingestion of IFA supplementation and biannual helminthic control. The long term goal is to break the intergenerational cycle of anaemia, the short term benefits is of a nutritionally improved human capital. The programme, implemented across the country both in rural and urban areas.

Salient features of WIFS:

i. Objective of Weekly Iron Folic acid Supplementation (WIFS) To reduce the prevalence and severity of anaemia in adolescent population (10-19 years).

ii. Target groups

  • School going adolescent girls and boys in 6th to 12th class enrolled in government/government aided/municipal schools.
  • Out of school adolescent girls.

iii. Intervention

  • Administration of supervised Weekly Iron-folic Acid Supplements of 100mg elemental iron and 500ug Folic acid using a fixed day approach.
  • Screening of target groups for moderate/severe anaemia and referring these cases to an appropriate health facility.
  • Biannual de-worming (Albendazole 400mg), six months apart, for control of helminthic infestation.
  • Information and counselling for improving dietary intake and for taking actions for prevention of intestinal worm infestation.

iv Convergence Convergence with key stakeholder ministries like the Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Human Resource Development is an essential part of implantation plan of the WIFS programme. Key convergent areas include: joint programme planning, capacity building of nodal service providers including Medical Officers, Anganwadi Worker (AWW) Staff Nurses, School teachers, monitoring and a comprehensive communication component.

v. Current Status: The programme has been rolled out in all States/UTs. The programme covers 11.2 crore beneficiaries including 8.4 crore in-school and 2.8 crore out of school beneficiaries.