Prevalence of anaemia in patients attending an outpatient clinic in Western Rift valley in Kenya during a low malaria season

  • JY Carter
  • OE Lema
  • HK Mukunza
  • HN Varia
  • AS Munyere
  • WM Watkins
  • KM Watkins


Objective: To assess the prevalence of anaemia in outpatients attending a rural health clinic in an area of seasonal malaria, during the low transmission season. Methods: Haemoglobin estimation and blood slide examination for malaria parasites were performed on 280 consecutive patients attending outpatient curative services at Entasopia Health Centre, Kajiado District, Kenya, between April-May 1996. Anaemia was defined according to World Health Organisation guidelines for age, sex and pregnancy status. Results: In all groups except adult males, more than half of the patients tested had haemoglobin values below the lower reference limits, suggesting that anaemia is widely present in this population even during the low malaria season. Only 5% of patients were positive for Plasmodium fakiparum malaria. Peripheral blood film examination suggested iron deficiency as the major cause of anaemia. Conclusions: Further studies to define the underlying causes of anaemia and to develop community strategies to prevent anaemia are required. The association between fever and anaemia and the use of pallor to diagnose anaemia, are discussed.

East African Medical Journal, May 1999, 251-254

Author Biographies

JY Carter
Head, Laboratory Programme
OE Lema
Chief Laboratory Technologist
HK Mukunza
Laboratory Technologist, African Medical and Research Foundation, P.O. Box 30125, Nairobi, Kenya
HN Varia
Nottingham, England
AS Munyere
Project Assistant, Entasopia Health Centre, Kajiado District, P.O. Box 31, Magadi, Kenya
WM Watkins
Director, Wellcome Trust Research Laboratories, P.O. Box 43540, Nairobi. Kenya, and Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
KM Watkins
Biological Sciences Undergraduate, Imperial College, London, England

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0012-835X