Prevalence of iron deficiency and megaloblastic Anaemia at booking in a secondary health facility in north eastern Nigeria
Objective: To determine the prevalence of iron deficiency and megaloblastic anaemia at booking in the Specialist Hospital Gombe. Patients and methods: This was a cross sectional study of 461 women attending the antenatal clinic for their booking visit. The capillary technique was used for the estimation of the packed cell volume (PCV) while the morphologic type of anaemia was determined by the blood film appearance. The age, parity social class and gestational age at booking were obtained and analyzed. Results: Among the 461 women studied, 239 were anaemic thus making the prevalence of anaemia at booking to be 51.8%. Most, 67.4% were mildly anaemic, 30.5% were moderately anaemic while 2.1% were severely anaemic. Three hundred and sixteen, (68.5%) of the women booked in the second trimester while only 3.0%
booked in the first trimester. The majority of the women, 293 (63.5%) were in lower social class. Of the 239 anaemic women, 155 (64.9%) had features of pure iron deficiency anaemia while only 1(0.4%) had features of pure megaloblastic anaemia. Eighty three (34.7%) had dimorphic blood picture while 238 (99.6%) in total had features of iron deficiency anaemia. Although not anaemic by PCV, the blood film of 26(5.6%) showed features of pure iron deficiency. Conclusion: The contribution of iron deficiency to anaemia in pregnancy is exceedingly high. This further supports the continued use of iron supplements for all pregnant women preferably at no cost in the short run and economic empowerment of the women folk in the long run.
Key words: Iron deficiency, anaemia, pregnancy, booking, Gombe