Prevalence, Morphological Types and Factors Associated With Anemia among Mothers Attending Antenatal Clinic at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, South Western Uganda

Kanyesigye Hamson, Joseph Ngonzi, Mugisha Julius, Byaruhanga Emmanuel, Mayanja Ronald


Background: Anemia in pregnancy is defined as reduction in hemoglobin concentration of below 11.0g/dl in the first and third trimester, or hemoglobin below 10.5g/dl in the second trimester. Globally 50% of pregnant women have anemia, the prevalence is even higher in Uganda where 64% of pregnant women have anemia, and the factors that are associated with anemia in pregnancy include social demographic, nutritional and medical factors.

Objective: To determine the prevalence, morphological types, and factors associated with anemia in pregnancy among mothers attending antenatal clinic at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH).

Materials and methods: A total of 355 mothers were recruited in a cross-sectional study at MRRH, social demographic, obstetric and medical factors were collected. Samples of blood, urine and stool were examined for malaria parasitaemia, hemoglobin (Hb) estimate, features of urinary tract infection (UTI), hookworm infestation and fecal occult blood. Thin film was done for those with low Hb. The dependant variable was anemia. A univariate and multivariate analysis was done to determine factors associated with anemia in pregnancy. A p-value of 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: The prevalence of anemia among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic was 62.82%. Factors significantly associated with anemia were UTI (p=0.038), malaria parasitaemia (p=0.007), fecal occult blood (p=0.002) and use of hematinics (p=0.031). The common morphological type of anemia was found to be microcytic hypochromic anemia (76.68%).

Conclusion: Microcytic hypochromic anemia was the most common morphological type of anemia. There is need to strengthen policies on screening for anemia during pregnancy, hematinics supplementation and use of IPT (Intermittent Preventive Treatment) together with proper treatment of Malaria and UTIs.

Key words; Anemia, Pregnancy, Prevalence, factors, morphology, antenatal care

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