14, Feb 2024
The Indian Academy of Pediatrics introduces IAP Ki Baat, Community Ke Saath Campaign

Mumbai: The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) has launched a pioneering program called “IAP Ki Baat, Community Ke Saath” to actively engage with communities and provide essential information on child health. The first topic to be covered is “Anemia Ki Baat, Community Ke Saath,” followed by other important topics like Obesity, Autism, Down Syndrome, and Thalassemia. The goal is to ensure that accurate and relevant information is accessible to everyone, which can have a significant impact on children’s well-being and contribute to overall societal health. Through this initiative, IAP aims to reach millions of individuals with reliable childcare information using various communication channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, television, radio, newspapers, influencers, and government partnerships.

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5, 2019-2020) revealed that more than half of women in the reproductive age group (15-49 years) and nearly 67.1% of children aged 6-59 months are affected by anemia in India. The causes of anemia are nutritional deficiencies (iron, folic acid, vitamin B12), chronic infections like malaria, genetic conditions, and unhealthy dietary habits. Iron deficiency anemia is the most prevalent type and is often associated with insufficient consumption of iron-rich foods, poor iron absorption, and excessive blood loss during menstruation or childbirth. In 2018, the Government came up with the Anemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) strategy, to decrease the incidence of anemia among women, children, and adolescents.

“In India, anemia poses a major public health issue. It is a condition marked by a shortage of red blood cells or insufficient hemoglobin in the bloodstream, leading to decreased oxygen-carrying ability. This can cause tiredness, feebleness, diminished cognitive performance, and a higher risk of infections and illness, leading to frequent absences from school and hindered social development. Addressing anemia in children requires a holistic approach that encompasses not only medical interventions but also nutritional support and education for parents about the importance of early detection and management. By raising awareness about the multifaceted consequences of childhood anemia, comprehensive solutions can address both the immediate symptoms and long-term implications of this condition,” said Dr GV Basavaraja, IAP President 2024.

On The Occasion Of World Anemia Awareness Day, to raise awareness and support the government’s Anaemia Elimination Mission, The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) launched an innovative program “IAP Ki Baat, Community Ke Saat” to proactively interact with communities and share vital information about child health. Massive screening programs will be rolled out by over 44,000 dedicated pediatricians from various clinics and hospitals spread across the country under the program “Anemia Ki Baat, Community Ke Saath,” to screen every child for anemia, ensuring early detection and intervention at no cost.

“We anticipate reaching over a million people through various media platforms and onsite activities through this program. The program will run for two years and will cover other topics including Screen Time, Obesity, Autism, Down Syndrome, Thalassemia, and many more every month. The increasing prevalence of time-related issues such as obesity, autism, Down syndrome, and thalassemia in children has become a pressing concern. The fast-paced nature of modern life often leads to unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles, contributing to the rise in childhood obesity. “The complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors is thought to play a significant role in the development of autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, and thalassemia,” said Dr Vasant Khalatkar IAP, President 2025.

IAP President Dr GV Basavaraja added, “By fostering open dialogue and promoting early intervention strategies through education and community engagement, it is possible to work towards creating a more inclusive society that supports all children irrespective of their health challenges. Different communication channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TV, radio, newspapers, and influencers will be included in the mission and will work closely with the government. Our outreach efforts also include community-based programs which are crucial to our mission. IAP’s district and city branches will conduct school awareness campaigns to educate parents and children,”

The team of experts led by Dr. Rekha Harish, Dr. Deepak Pande, Dr. Nita Radhakrishnan, Dr. Bharat R Agarwal, and Dr. Divij Sachdeva, along with the scientific committee comprising Dr. Piyali Bhattacharya, Dr. Gayatri Bezboruah, Dr. Prashant V Kariya, Dr. Mubashir Hassan Shah, Dr. Cherukuri Nirmala, and Dr. Manmeet Kaur Sodhi, will meticulously ensure that accurate and credible information about anemia reaches the community.

Distinguished guests, including Dr Vinod K Paul- Member, NITI Aayog and Dr Pukhraj Bafna – Padmashree Awardee and Sr Consultant Pediatrician, will virtually unveil the awareness poster and video on Anemia, along with key IAP officials such as Dr. GV Basavaraja – IAP National President 2024, Dr. Vasant Khalatkar – IAP National President 2025, Dr. Yogesh Parikh – Hon. Secretary General IAP 2024-2025, Dr. Atanu Bhadra – National Treasurer IAP 2024-2025, and National Coordinators – Dr. Geeta Patil, Dr. Samir Dalwai, Dr. Kishore Baindur, Dr. Shantaraj, Dr. Amaresh Patil, and other esteemed members of IAP.