New Delhi, March 5: A small project in two districts of Gujarat to make adolescent girls aware of health issues, especially diseases like anaemia, has shown the path to address this section of the population.
Girls in the target group were registered with the programme and married ones were referred to the monthly Mamta Taruni Divas or Health Day organised in every village by health workers.
The weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) of unmarried girls was measured and monitored, they received tetanus injections, iron and other nutritional supplements at the anganwadi centres and information was disseminated on nutrition and sexual and reproductive health.
The survey found that 85 percent of the girls were aware of the use of condoms at the end of 18 months as compared to 46 percent at the start.
Ninety percent were aware of reproductive tract infections, an increase of 40 percent, while awareness of anaemia increased from 73 percent to almost 100 percent.
The project was implemented in 53 villages of two blocks, Prantij (rural) and Khedbrahma (tribal) taulukas in Sabarkantha district.