Anaemia in pregnancy: a survey of pregnant women in Abeokuta, Nigeria

  • O A Idowu
  • C F Mafiana
  • S Dopu


Background: Anaemia in pregnancy is a common problem in most developing countries and a major cause of morbidity and mortality especially in malaria endemic areas. In pregnancy, anaemia has a significant impact on the health of the foetus as well as that of the mother. 20% of maternal deaths in Africa have been attributed to anaemia Objectives and Methods: This study was therefore carried out to determine the prevalence of anaemia among pregnant women receiving antenatal care in two hospitals and a traditional birth home in order to obtain a broader prevalence data. Pregnant women were enrolled in the study at their first antenatal visit and were monitored through pregnancy for anaemia. Packed cell volume (PCV) was used to assess level of anaemia; Questionnaires were also administered to obtain demographic information. Results: Three hundred and sixty five (76.5%) of the women were anaemic at one trimester of pregnancy or another. Anaemia were more prevalent among primigravidae (80.6%) than the multigravidae(74.5%)(P>0.05). Two hundred and eleven women (57.8%) had moderate anaemia while 147 (40.3%) had mild anaemia and 7(1.9%) were severely anaemic (5 (71.4%) of which were primigravidae). All severely anaemic women were under 30 years old. Women attending TBH for antenatal care were found to be more anaemic (81.2%) (Even at various trimesters of pregnancy) than those attending the hospitals (72.5%) (P<0.05). However, in all the antenatal centers more women were anaemic in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. Forty-seven (9.8%) of the enrolled women booked for antenatal care in the first trimester, while 303(63.5%) booked in the second trimester and 127(26.6%) in the 3rd trimester of their pregnancies. 62.5% of these women were already anaemic at the time of antenatal booking, with a higher prevalence among the primigravidae (69.7%)(P< 0.05). Absence of symptoms of ill health was the major reason for late antenatal booking. Anaemia was higher among unemployed women and those with sickle cell traits. Conclusion: Educating women on early antenatal booking and including those in TBHs in health interventions is necessary to reduce the problem of anaemia in pregnancy in Nigeria.

African Health Sciences Vol. 5 (4) 2005: pp. 295-299

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eISSN: 1680-6905