Prevalence and morphological types of anaemia and hookworm infestation in the medical emergency ward, Mulago Hospital, Uganda

  • JE Mukaya
  • H Ddungu
  • F Ssali
  • T O’Shea
  • MA Crowther


Introduction. Anaemia is common worldwide, although the burden is highest in developing countries where nutrient deficiencies and chronic infections are prevalent.

Objective. To determine the prevalence and morphological
types of anaemia and assess the hookworm burden among patients in the medical emergency ward at Mulago national referral hospital, Uganda.
Methods. In a cross-sectional descriptive study 395 patients were recruited by systematic random sampling and their socio-demographic characteristics and clinical details collected. A complete blood count and peripheral film examination were done and stool examined for hookworm ova.
Statistical analysis. Data were processed using Epi-Info version 6 and Stata version 9. The chi-square test was used for categorical variables and Student’s t-test for non-categorical variables. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine factors predictive of anaemia.
Results. Of the patients 255 (64.6%) had anaemia. The prevalence was higher among males (65.8%) than females (63.7%). Fatigue (odds ratio (OR) 2.1, confidence interval (CI) 1.37 - 3.24), dizziness (OR 1.64, CI 1.07 - 2.44), previous blood transfusion (OR 2.83, CI 1.32 - 6.06), lymphadenopathy (OR 2.99, CI 1.34 - 6.66) and splenomegaly (OR 5.22, CI 1.78 - 15.28) were significantly associated with anaemia.
Splenomegaly, low body mass index (BMI) (<19) and being HIV positive were independently associated with anaemia. The commonest type of anaemia was hypochromic microcytic (34.1%). Only 10.6% of anaemic patients had hookworm infestation.
Conclusions. In our study the prevalence of anaemia (64.6%) was very high. Splenomegaly, HIV infection and low BMI were independently associated with anaemia. The commonest type of anaemia was microcytic hypochromic (34.1%). There was a low prevalence of hookworm infestation.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135