Anaemia in Pregnancy: Prevalence and Possible Risk Factors in Kakamega County, Kenya
Science Journal of Public Health
Anaemia in expectant women is a serious world-wide public health problem with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Haematological parameters indicative of pregnancy anaemia need to be investigated to provide basis for prompt management of anaemia in pregnancy. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of anaemia in pregnant mothers of various age groups and at different gestation periods visiting antenatal clinic at a county level 5 hospital. The ages of recruited participants ranged from 16
... nts ranged from 16 to 40 years with a mean age of 26.8 ± 4.3 years. A total of 320 blood samples were collected during the first and subsequent visits to antenatal clinic from January to December 2013. The age, marital, socio-economic status, highest level of education, stages of each pregnancy of each participant were recorded. Haemoglobin estimation was done using a HemoCue ® B-Hemoglobin system and positive anaemia cases were classified as mild, moderate, severe and very severe based on the world health organization criteria. The haemoglobin concentrations ranged from 6.5 g/dl -15.5 g/dl with a mean of 10.2 ± 1.3g/dl. Data was analysed using the Chi-square test and Odds ratio. Out of all blood samples analyzed, 128 (40%) were anaemic of which 62.5% (n=80) were mildly anaemic cases whereas 37.5% (n=48) were moderately anaemic and no severe anaemic cases were detected. Anaemia was more prevalent (33.3% -60%) in second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Study results confirm that socio-economic deprivation and lack of basic education are important factors that predispose pregnant women to anaemia. Anaemia levels reported are low but persistent and present a potentially serious public health problem to the mother, foetal growth and delivery outcome and therefore require serious attention. It is recommended that the county government initiates free iron supplementation and enlist services of extension nutritionists in an integrated programme for the prevention and management of pregnancy related anaemia.