Prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia and dietary iron intake among infants aged six to nine months in Keiyo South Sub County, Kenya
The increased prevalence of iron deficiency among infants can be attributed to the consumption of an iron deficient diet or a diet that interferes with iron absorption at the critical time of infancy, among other factors. The gradual shift from breast milk to other foods and liquids is a transition period which greatly contributes to iron deficiency anaemia (IDA). The purpose of this research was to assess iron deficiency anaemia among infants aged six to nine months in Keiyo South Sub County. The specific objectives of this study were: to establish the prevalence of infants with iron deficiency anaemia and dietary iron intake among infants aged 6 to 9 months. The cross sectional study design was adopted in this survey. This study was conducted in three health facilities in Keiyo South Sub County. The infants were selected by use of a two stage cluster sampling procedure. Systematic random sampling was then used to select a total of 244 mothers and their infants. Eighty two (82) infants were selected from Kamwosor sub-district hospital and eighty one (81) from both Nyaru and Chepkorio health facilities. Interview schedules, 24-hour dietary recall and food frequency questionnaires were used for collection of dietary iron intake. Biochemical tests were carried out by use of the Hemo-control photochrometer at the health facilities. Infants whose hemoglobin levels were less than 11g/dl were considered anaemic. Further, peripheral blood smears were conducted to ascertain the type of nutritional anaemia. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software version 17, 2009. Dietary iron intake was analyzed using the NutriSurvey 2007 computer software. Results indicated that the mean hemoglobin values were 11.3± 0.84 g/dl. Twenty one percent (21.7%) of the infants had anaemia and further 100% of peripheral blood smears indicated iron deficiency anaemia. Dietary iron intake was a predictor of iron deficiency anaemia in this study (t=-3.138; p=0.01). Iron deficiency anaemia was evident among infants in Keiyo South Sub County. The Ministry of Health should formulate and implement policies on screening for anaemia and ensure intensive nutrition education on iron rich diets during child welfare clinics.
Keywords: Iron, Deficiency, Anaemia, Dietary, Infants, Six, Nine, Screening
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