Determinants of Anaemia in Pregnancy in Sekyere West District, Ghana

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Ghana Medical Journal


Anaemia associated with pregnancy is a serious health problem and its control requires the initial identification of the major factors responsible. Haemoglobin (Hb) levels of 205 women, aged 15 to 49 years, in the last trimester of pregnancy and residing within 4 of 6 sub-districts in Sekyere West district of the Ashanti region of Ghana, were determined. Demographic characteristics, dietary habits and other information were obtained and analysed. Blood and stool samples were tested for the presence of malaria parasites and intestinal worms respectively. The data showed that, 57.1% of pregnant women had Hb<10g/dl, the Ministry of Health cut off point for anaemia. Anaemia was more prevalent in rural compared to urban parts of the district (p=0.01). Low parity and young age were significantly associated with low Hb and high prevalence of maternal anaemia. Presence of malaria parasites in peripheral blood constituted a significant risk for low Hb (Hb = 9.2g/dL vs 9.5g/dL p=0.03). Independent of this, hookworm was even more strongly associated with low Hb (Hb = 8.3g/dL vs Hb=9.5g/dL, p=0.01). Contribu-tion of dietary intake to the prevalence of anaemia cannot be inferred from the data generated under the current study.


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Anaemia, pregnancy, malaria, hookworm