ORIGINAL ARTICLES 63 Risk Factors for Iron Deficiency Anaemia in Under-five Children in Imo State, Nigeria
Journal of Applied Sciences Research
The objective of the cross-sectional study was to determine risk factors for anaemia, to determine the impact of malaria on iron deficiency, and establish the relationship between worm infestation and iron deficiency in under-five children in Imo State of Nigeria. A total of four hundred (400) children aged 6-60 months, selected by purposive sampling method, provided blood to assess anaemia, food consumption, and body measurements.. Two hundred were from urban and two hundred from rural
... from rural locations. Weighed 3-day food records were used to analyse food and nutrient intake. Blood samples for determination of haemoglobin, serum ferritin, packed cell volume, vitamin C, and presence of malaria parasites were obtained by vein puncture. Stool samples were collected to determine parasitic infestations. Structured and validated questionnaire was administered to elicit information related to socioeconomic status of the parents, and health status of the children. Using serum ferritin (SF) cutoff <12.mg/l (WHO, 1994), 48.8% were iron deficient, and 70.5% were anaemic (Hb <105 g/l). There were varying degrees of anaemia 38.0% had mild anaemia, 31.8% were moderately anaemic and 0.8% was severely anaemic (WHO/UNICEF/UNN, 2001).Some (18%) were infected by worms, hook worm affected 7.8% , Ascaris ova found in 5.8%, and Taenia 3.8 %.. Malaria parasites were found in 42.3% of the children. The correlation values (r=-197; p, 0.00) showed strong correlation between malaria and anaemia, and also a strong correlation between malaria and iron deficiency (r-0.442; p<0.001). Of the 169(42.25%) that had malaria parasites, 74.6% were iron deficient. .The most risk factor associated with anaemia in children (12-60 months olds) was helminthic infections which was higher in rural areas (28.5%). Malaria was higher in rural children (49.5%) than in urban (35.0%) regardless of sex.