Understanding the problem of anaemia among pregnant women booking for antenatal care in Lusaka district Zambia
Lubeya, Ketty Mwansa
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Anaemia is a global public health problem affecting people from different age groups, frequently, pregnant women, especially in the developing. WHO (1996) defines anaemia in pregnancy as haemoglobin (Hb) level below 11g/dl in the first half of the pregnancy and 10.5g/dl in the second half. The study investigated the burden of anaemia and its associations among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at the University Teaching Hospital, Chelston, Kanyama, Kabwata and Kalingalinga clinics of Lusaka District. A structured questionnaire was administered to all eligible women in these clinics. Out of 216 women, seventy-nine (36.2%) were anaemic. The mean haemoglobin for the group was 11.2g/dl. Bivariate analysis showed that low family income and low intake of green leafy vegetables were associated with anaemia, with p values of 0.02, and 0.023, respectively. After adjusting for confounders, HIV infection remained significant in the regression model. HIV positive women were 2.7 times more likely to have anaemia (95% CI-1.06-6.70). Anaemia in pregnancy is still prevalent despite the results showing a reduction from 46.9% to 36.6% since the last study 10 years ago. Low intake of vegetables and low family income were significantly associated with anaemia, after adjusting for confounders HIV positive women were 2.7 times more likely to have anaemia. Women need continued education on importance of vegetable intake during pregnancy, involvement in legal income generating activities to boost family income. Women of reproductive age under HIV care should be aggressively managed and educated on anaemia prevention in pregnancy. Micro nutrient supplementation plays a critical role and should be continued.
The University of Zambia