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3rd Edition of

International Public Health Conference

March 21-23, 2024 | Singapore

IPHC 2022

Pragya Pranjali

Speaker at Public Health Conference 2022 - Pragya Pranjali
Smile Foundation, India

Title : Improving the Health Conditions of Adolescent Girls 14 19 yearsThrough Improved Nutrition and Improved Haemoglobin Level Evidences from Tribal District of Gujarat India


Iron deficiency is one of world’s largest nutritional challenge causing 40% of maternal deaths in the world (World Bank) malnutrition weakens over all the immune systems. A recent report by World Vision, it is estimated that an additional 5 million children will suffer from malnutrition as a direct result of COVID-19, a 40% increase over last year.

In the tribal-dominated Banaskantha’s Amirgarh block 78% adolescent girls (14 – 19 years - as per National Family Health Survey - NFHS -4) are anaemic and in turn suffer iron deficiency which has caused delays in cognitive development and decreased potential of healthy wellbeing. A baseline study conducted by Smile Foundation in 38 villages of Amirgarh block showed 50% of girls were moderately anaemic and about 13% severely anaemic of whom (49%) dropped out of school after Class 6 or 8 and 17.6%, never attending school. The study also found out that 84% never consumed multi-vitamin or folic acid supplements and most of them had no awareness of anaemia or ever of having checked their anaemic status. The project built capacity of 1000 adolescent girls on nutrition, balanced diet, menstrual hygiene and life skills. It provided training on the Lucky Shakti Leaf Supplementation which is simple and effective cooking tool (250gms of iron block) that adds extra iron to daily foods or drinks. A case control study was done to generate evidence on the anaemia management with the use of Lucky Shakti Leaf. Around 500 girls out of 1000 were provided leaf along with other interventions and 500 girls were part of regular interventions and no leaf supplement will be given to them.

The presentation will discuss the evidences generated on improvement of haemoglobin level with the use of Lucky Shakti Leaf. The iron leaf is actually 250gms of iron block which is to be used as a catalyst to release iron from the food being prepared. The use of iron utensils for cooking is conventionally used in India to ensure the consumption of iron through food being consumed on daily basis. With increase in urbanisation and use of modern day utensils such as aluminium and non- sticks etc. the release of iron in food is limited and restricted. The result being, one is dependent on IFA supplements, which is usually considered as medicine among common masses. Furthermore, the awareness that citrus fruits, alternatively Vitamin C, helps in iron absorption of iron contents from food being cooked and consumed. Hence, even if IFA is being consumed devoid Vitamin C tablet the required amount of iron is not being absorbed by the body. The situation becomes all the more sensitive during adolescent phase particularly among girls (14-19 years), when the puberty has onset- menarche attained, the body preparing itself for reproduction etc. Wherein, the body will need a holistic intervention from all the facets, nutrition, supplements, cooking pattern etc. The presentation here will discuss the outcome on improvement of haemoglobin level, with 360- degree intervention, through a case- control study.



Pragya Pranjali- is Social Scientist and Entrepreneur with a niche specialization Public Healthcare domain. Working for about more than 1.5 decades now, she has multiple faceted qualification towards her credit- public health management, demography, law, health communication etc. She expertise in developing measurement & learning framework for social and behavior aspects of healthcare thematic areas, in particular. Having several accolades and writings to her credit, she has a third eye- qualitative insight towards converting numbers in stories, thereby, advising program in long run. She has been contributing to several scientific blogs and researches in her working span.