Revised Operational Strategy for Oral Iron for Pregnant Women

Health, ,

Government of West Bengal
Department of Health & Family Welfare
State Family Welfare Bureau
Swasthya Bhawan, GN 29, Sector V,
Salt Lake City, Kolkata 700091

Memo No. H/SFWB/16M-01-2014/3701 Dated: 05/12/2014


Subject: Revised Operational strategy for Oral Iron for Pregnant women

Universal screening of pregnant women for anaemia is a part of ante-natal care and all pregnant women are provided iron and folic acid tablets during their ante-natal visits through the existing network of sub-centres and primary health centres and other health facilities as well as through outreach activities at Village Health & Nutrition Days (VHNDs). Under the National Iron + Initiative, iron and folic acid supplementation is being given across life stages including pregnant, lactating women and adolescent girls at health facilities and during outreach activities.

The present duration of taking oral iron for pregnant women has been revised and all the pregnant women in the 2nd & 3rd trimester is recommended to take oral iron and folic acid tablet (each containing 100 mg elemental iron and 0.5 mg folic acid) once daily preferably after morning meal/lunch. This has to be consumed for a period of six months during pregnancy and continued till six months post-partum. In case, she is anaemic, the dose is to be doubted i.e. two tablets one after morning meal/lunch and another after evening meal/dinner are to be taken orally.

Tea, coffee, milk or milk based products should not be consumed with oral iron since it interferes with its absorption. If calcium tablets are also being taken, at least 2 hours gap is required between the two since calcium interferes with the absorption of Iron. Ideally if both Calcium and Iron is to be taken, Calcium should be taken before morning and evening meals and Iron after morning and evening meals.

This order is issued in reference to the letter of the Deputy Commissioner (MH), Ministry of H & FW, GOI, no. M.12015/44/2011-MCH, dated 19.11.2014.

Sd/- Comissioner (FW) & Secretary
to Govt. of West Bengal

No. H/SFWB/3701 dated 05.12.2014, Source