50% females in India suffering from Anemia and problems with India's current Healthcare infrastructure

Hi everyone,

This is Suman (New on Rainmatter Discussion)

In recent days, I came across a government report on gender parity in India, which revealed a startling statistic: almost 50% of females in the country suffer from Anemia. Earlier, I might have overlooked such reports, but now, I understand more about India’s healthcare architecture (Bottom 90% of India).

A while ago, Kiran Mazumdar shared an article that shed light on why the business side of healthcare stakeholders, including Providers, Payers, and Healthtech companies, seems reluctant to address these problems. While they may have been making profits, the issue of mental healthcare inclusion in insurance claims remains severely neglected, despite the Mental Healthcare Act (MHA) passing in 2017.

Healthtech companies have been limiting themself to Patients and Providers (even though Payers are an important part of any Healthcare infrastructure), uneven distribution of providers (80% of the providers are concentrated in 10% of the geography), and hence the one-size-fits-all is preventing India from making Quality Healthcare universal to its population.

In this essay, we have shared one of the use cases of the Healthcare system that we are developing at Jile Health: https://www.sumanjha.com/post/why-is-india-still-struggling-to-make-quality-healthcare-universal-to-its-population

Look forward to receiving feedback.

PS: We have attached one demo with the essay, happy to share more

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Anemia is merely an indication of almost certain deficiencies in several other minerals and trace minerals. The big ones are Zinc, Magnesium. The others are a long list. Amongst non-dietary deficiencies, Vitamin D is the big one.

Nutrition education is a failed strategy. It does not work even for highly educated people in India with masters degrees and PhDs.

I am a strong advocate of population-wide testing and supplementation. And limiting it to anemia is not good enough.

When you have the scale and size of problems such as this, it is always advisable to solve them in a smaller bucket. And frankly, expecting to be a population-wide testing for one specific disease would be a massive waste of resources. Here is one of our user’s stories: https://www.sumanjha.com/post/how-chronic-disease-costs-could-be-prevented-a-jile-health-user-s-story

We follow Kailash’s (CTO Zerodha) building philosophy - look for what is available even before thinking about building. How can we use what is available is the key here.

The issue is simple. Testing is unnecessary and a good to have. Supplementation as the standard recommendation is practical and doable in many ways.

The iodization of salt did not require populationwide testing for iodine deficiencies.

It’s the same here - These bunch of deficiencies are widespread and ubiquitous enough to launch programs for almost universal supplementation. And another big point is that the focus on iron deficiency anemia does not solve anything. The other major deficiencies must be tackled too. And all of them can be bunched together.

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And availability is not at all a problem for these bunch of nutrients when used as a supplement.

You must read my essay before writing all these, I have talked about many types of Anemia and stressed specifically Anemia due to the deficiency of Vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 is responsible for Red blood cell formation, Nervous system function, DNA synthesis etc. And when your Red blood cells are responsible for transportation of oxygen a deficiency of RBCs means the seed of uncountable NCDs including Mental illness.

I agree, that other micronutrients should also be tracked but deficiency of others might not lead to life-threatening conditions compared to Vitamin B12 deficiency.

PS: India is free from Anemia due to deficiency of iodine because iodized salt is accessible and affordable for everyone in the country.

Frankly, almost everything is accessible. But not everything is about accessibility, it is also about affordability.

Here is what a typical affordable solution would look like - A once a day pill with iron, zinc, magnesium, Vitamin D and Calcium + Boron and a cocktail of B Vitamins and others. At scale it would cost less than a rupee.

WOW! Do you have your personal website, where can I read and learn more about you? In fact, if you believe the above is possible, you must start and build and solve this problem. If you don’t want to start, share this in public so companies like such - Crack the Code to Optimal Health: Supply6 360 - get the benefit.

PS: If you share your website or anything, if I feel you are credible, I would love to talk to you to learn more.


While a pill would be ideal to supplement the essential micronutrients, we feel it would be better if the products are more engaging with the consumers. We envision products placed on the dining table alongside fruits which are generic to both kids and female adults. The problem is pandemic but loosely addressed. We have developed products purely focused on this problem.

Thankfully, we are surrounded by hundreds of nutritious foods. Lots of choice. And these nutritious choices have been around always. The problem is two fold - 1. Affordability 2. Behaviour change/Awareness - nutrition is too complex even for highly educated people to understand and adopt. The world is full of highly educated people with lifestyle disease and malnutrition/deficiencies.

Here is the math for you - less than 5 paise per person per day (adult)-

even though this is super simplified math (things are not that straight), let’s have a call, I have DMed you :slight_smile:

Math is always simple. To add manufacturing and distribution costs, all that you do is to add an X% and a Y number. Even at 10X the costs, it remains eminently feasible.