Iron Deficiency Anemia in Pregnancy in Nigeria—A Systematic Review
Anemia in pregnancy is a public health problem in Nigeria and it is more than likely that iron deficiency is the major cause. This study aimed to review relevant publications in order to summarize the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia, risk factors associated with iron deficiency, anemia in pregnancy as well as factors associated with compliance to routine iron therapy. MEDLINE Entrez PubMed search was performed in August 2017 and studies that investigated iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy in Nigeria from 1968 to 2017 were sought. Search keywords included “iron deficiency anemia, pregnancy, Nigeria.” Only studies that provided information on the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia, risk factors associated with iron deficiency anemia and risk factors associated with compliance to routine iron therapy in pregnancy in Nigeria were eligible and were selected. Inclusion criteria were original scientific investigations, not reviews, studies conducted in Nigeria between 1968 and 2017 and studies written in the English language. A total of six relevant studies that fulfilled the study inclusion criteria were identified out of 36 studies found. All the studies reported a high prevalence of iron deficiency anemia among pregnant women and risk factors associated with iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy include multiparity, third trimester of pregnancy, and low socioeconomic status. Risk factors associated with noncompliance to routine iron therapy include poor utilization of antenatal services, low educational attainment, distance to a health facility, single or teenage pregnancy, increasing age of the pregnant women, and living in the rural areas. The prevalence of iron deficiency anemia among pregnant women was reported to be high. Awareness creation and education on the importance of family planning and proper utilization of antenatal care services should be encouraged. There should be economic empowerment of women, provision of health facilities to areas where they are absent to encourage early booking and utilization of antenatal care services.
Keywords: Anemia, iron deficiency, pregnancy