In Odisha,more than 70% of children between 5-17 years of age are anemic;with 50%-70% gap in the intake of iron as compared to its recommended dietary allowancesacross this age group.The Government of Odisha reaches out to this age-group througha school feeding programme namely the mid-day meal scheme wherein rice based mealsare provided in the schools to children between 6-14 years of age.The World Food Programme in partnership with the government operationalized iron fortification of rice through theplatform of the mid-day meals in a tribal district.
Rice allocated by the government for school feeding was transported to a rice miller for blending with iron fortified rice kernels in a ratio 100:1.The packaged fortified rice was transported through the government transporter to the schools in required quantities. Stringent protocols for quality control,supply chain,capacity building and awareness were developed and followed through-out the project.A case-control design pre and post evaluation was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the operational model.
(i)5352 metric tonnes of rice was fortified and consumed by the school children in the tribal district (ii)There was 20 percentage point reduction in the prevalence of anemia in theschool children, of which 6% age point reduction was attributable to consumption of fortified rice (iii)Post demonstration of operational feasibility, the project is sustained by the government in the given district (iv)The operational model on rice fortification has opened doors for discussions on scale-up acrossOdisha and in other states.
Fortification of riceis operationally feasible in existing government systems and schemes with impact on anamia.