Association between hookworm infection and anaemia among antenatal attendees in a university teaching hospital in southern Nigeria
Background: Hookworm infection is among the major causes of anaemia in poor communities. Its importance in causing maternal anaemia however is poorly understood, and this has hampered effective lobbying for the inclusion of anti-helmintic treatment in maternal health packages.
Methodology: A cross sectional analytical study was conducted to assess the association between hookworm infection and anaemia among pregnant women obtaining antenatal Care at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo. Nigeria. Two hundred and fourteen pregnant women were recruited over a six week period. Pre-coded and structured questionnaires were administered to each eligible pregnant woman, Blood samples were obtained for determination of packed cell volume and serum iron/total iron binding capacity respectively. Stool samples were collected from each pregnant woman for microscopy. Data obtained was analyzed with Epinfo-version 3.5.2 December 2010 software.
Result: Twenty four of 211 women had hookworm infection resulting in a prevalence of 11.4% (95% CI= 7.4%-16.5%). Sixty two (29,8%) of 208 women had iron deficiency anaemia, Fourteen (22,6%) of the 62 women with iron deficiency anaemia had hookworm infection while 9 (6.3%) of 143 women without iron deficiency anaemia had hookworm infection (x2=11.5, p= 0.000689). There was no statistically significant association between hookworm infection and all the socio-demographic variables analyzed except between hookworm infection and place of residence (x2= 22.3 and p=0.0000351 ),
Conclusion : Hookworm infection is associated with anaemia in pregnant women in Uyo. This therefore reinforces the WHO recommendation to include routine de-worming into our antenatal care package as a strategy to reduce or prcvent maternal anaemia.
Keywords. Hookworm infection. anaemia, pregnancy. Uyo
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