Iron for adolescents’ (FeFa) to focus on evidence based interventions to protect girls’ health
‘FeFA Girls’, a new initiative to address malnutrition among adolescents has been launched recently. Iron deficiency anaemia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Intensive approach to health and wellbeing is important for development of adolescent girls. Through this project, ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) will work in partnership with the Government of Telangana to address these important issues.
FeFA Girls includes two components: i) to establish diet-based approaches for improvement in haemoglobin and iron status in adolescent girls, and ii) to generate scientific evidence on nutritional benefits of groundnut and pearl millet (ICRISAT mandate crops) on human health.
Together termed FeFA Girls “Iron For Adolescents” (Fe: symbol of Iron; FA: For Adolescent), the project reaches out to adolescent girls aged 16-19 from selected social welfare hostels in Telangana to address iron deficiency and poor dietary fibre intake. A key aspect of iron-deficiency anaemia prevention and control is promotion of diets containing adequate amounts of bioavailable iron.
Another project to understand the ‘Effect of National iron-folic acid (IFA) Supplementation Programme on Gut Modulation and Iron Status among Adolescents’, will assess the effect of daily iron-folic acid supplementation (for a period of three months) on the gut microbiota composition and function of adolescent girls.