Iron Deficiency Anemia among Pregnant Women in Nablus District; Prevalence, Knowledge, PDF
|Amani Waleed Mahmoud Abu-Hasira|
|Dr. Na'el Abu-Hasan - د. عبيدة صادق قمحية|
|1.Dr. Na'el Abu-Hasan (Chairman) 2.Dr. Obaida Qamhiyeh (Co-supervisor) 3.Dr. Saeed Al-Hamooz (External examiner) 4.Dr. Yahia Faydi (Internal examiner)|
The current study aimed to estimate the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) among pregnant women who attend governmental antenatal care centers in Nablus district and to explore and assess knowledge, attitude, and practices of pregnant women towards IDA. The study was conducted during the period June- August, 2006 and the sample consisted of 207 pregnant women (207; 110 second trimester, 97 third trimesters) in the age group (17-41) years. Out of 207 participants 137 were city inhabitance and 70 were village residence. Blood samples were collected from each pregnant woman and a questionnaire was completed at the time of blood collection. Hemoglobin (Hb), and serum ferritin were determined, and the collected data was analyzed using SPSS.
The overall prevalence rate of iron deficiency anemia was (21.7%). Iron deficiency anemia was most prevalent in the third trimester (69%) compared to second trimester pregnancy (31%). The prevalence rate among city inhabitance (25.5%) was higher that found among village inhabitance (14.3%), however differences in the prevalence rates were of no statistically significant value (P = 0.).
Younger age group (≤ 24) shows the highest prevalence rate of IDA (35.6%) among IDA group. Years of education, working status, number of family members and monthly income seems to have no effect on the status of IDA as working women, those with more years of education, high monthly income and those with large number of family members were with lower prevalence of IDA. Slight increase in the prevalence rates of IDA was found with increased number of pregnancies; however, increased years of spacing did not show this effect. Neither smoking status, nor previous history of chronic disease or weight of last born baby seems to show any association with IDA status. Previous and current use of iron supplements as a main preventive measure for IDA seems to have limited effect in lowering the prevalence rate of IDA, a situation that might be due to problems of compliance or any other hidden factors. Early registration and increased number of visits also found to have no effect on improving the status of IDA; a situation might draw the attention to the role and effectiveness of the health care system in the area.
The study showed a high level of knowledge with respect to causes, symptoms, iron rich food sources, importance of iron supplements and iron absorption in relation to IDA among both IDA and non IDA groups. However, poor knowledge was found with respect to the effect of IDA and mother and fetal health and the use of iron supplements and absorption. Highly positive attitudes and practices were also found in respect to the importance of regular visits to maternal care centers, use of iron supplement and multiple pregnancies.
In conclusion, although the adopted strategy concerning primary health care seems to be well planned and based on international recommendations, it seems to have no noticeable effect on the improvement of the prevalence of IDA and there is a great need for further health education promotional programs in this respect.