Prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy at Greytown, South Africa

  • AK Monjurul Hoque Empangeni Hospital, KwaZulu-Natal, 150 Lower Bridge Road, Durban North, Durban, South Africa
  • Suriya B Kader
  • Ehsanul Hoque
  • Charles Mugero
Keywords: Anaemia, Haematocrit, Pregnancy


Context: Anaemia in pregnancy is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality mainly in developing countries. It is a preventable medical condition through public health interventions which are potentially feasible and cost-effective. In order to strengthen planning and management, the prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy at a district hospital was ascertained.

Objectives: To describe antenatal booking visits, haemoglobin levels and to estimate the prevalence of Anaemia in pregnancy based on the criteria set by South Africa (National) and World Health organization and to identify the risk factors.

Study-Design, Setting and Subjects: A retrospective cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted using antenatal clinic register of a rural district (Greytown) Hospital of KwaZulu-Natal Province during January to December 2003. A total of 711 pregnant women from 1486 booking visits were recruited.

Main Outcome Measures: Percentage of attendees had low haemoglobin, effects on haemoglobin concentration of age and gestational age (trimester).

Results: Based on the South African (Haemoglobin <10gm/dL) and WHO (Haemoglobin <11 gm/dL) criteria of Anaemia, 15.7% and 39.9% attendees respectively were anaemic. Booking visits for the pregnancies were 14.2% during first, 70.7% during second and 15.1% during third trimesters respectively.

Conclusion: The prevalence of Anaemia in pregnancy is high and evidence of late booking for antenatal care in Greytown comparable with other findings in Africa. There is an urgent need for Health Education and promotion of this population for early bookings for antenatal care and management of anemia.

Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Vol. 23(1) 2006: 3-7

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eISSN: 0189-5117