Anaemia awareness, beliefs and practices among pregnant women: A baseline assessment at Brosankro community in Ghana.

Bismark Dwumfour-Asare, Mavis A. Kwapong


Anaemia in pregnancy is among the top health threats in developing countries. Ghana has adopted several strategies over the years against anaemia but it remains a major cause of infant and maternal deaths. This paper assesses anaemia awareness levels, beliefs and practices among pregnant women of an endemic community. A baseline survey was conducted on 28 pregnant women randomly selected from first 100 consistent antenatal attendees from August to October 2011 at Brosankro Health Centre. The results show high anaemia consciousness with few respondents claiming no knowledge of the causes (3%) and effects (14%). The easily known cause of anaemia is poor diet (63%) followed by malaria (26%), worms (5%) and others (6%). Meanwhile, food sources that can fight anaemia are poorly known (18%). Cultural and religious beliefs in food restrictions exist and fairly a significant number of women (38%) are denied potential dietary nutrients. There are potential health risks (including anaemia) associated with existing practices since barriers to parasitic infections like malaria and worms via use of insecticide treated bed nets, intermittent preventive treatment, improved drinking water sources and effective handwashing are compromised. Respondents’ understanding on effective barriers against anaemia in pregnancy needs to be deepened.

Keywords: anaemia awareness; beliefs; practices; pregnant women, drinking water

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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