Malnutrition and iron deficiency anaemia in lactating women in urban slum communities from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • J Haidar Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, P.O. Box 5654, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • NM Muroki
  • AM Omwega Applied Human Nutrition programme, Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 442, Uthiru
  • G Ayana Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, P.O. Box 5654, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Objective: To determine the status of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) and malnutrition in lactating women.
Design: A cross-sectional study.
Setting: Six urban slum communities in Teklehaimanot district, Addis Ababa.
Subjects: One thousand and seventeen lactating women were enrolled and assessed for their haemoglobin (Hgb), serum ferritin level and body mass index (BMI) during the month of March 2001. Iron deficiency anaemia was considered when Hgb and serum ferritin concentrations were less than 12gm/dl and 12 µg/l respectively, whereas, a BMI less than 18.5% kg/m2 was considered malnourished.
Main outcome measures: Determinations of haemoglobin, serum ferritin and BMI measurements.
Results: The overall prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) and protein energy malnutrition in the slum communities was 22.3% and 27.1% respectively. The mean age of mothers (28.4±6.12 years) indicates that prevalence of malnutrition and iron deficiency anaemia was higher among younger mothers than among older mothers. The prevalence of malnutrition was positively correlated with the serum ferritin concentration status, of the mothers (r=0.12, p=0.2, RR=1.03).
Conclusion: It is observed that malnutrition and IDA are major health problems and therefore, an appropriate nutrition intervention package to improve the nutrition situation of the communities is recommended

(E Afr Med J:2003 80(4): 191-194)

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0012-835X