PREVALENCE OF ANAEMIA IN PREGNANCY AT BOOKING IN SPECIALIST HOSPITAL GOMBE
Objective: To determine the prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy at booking in Specialist Hospital Gombe.
Patients and methods: A cross sectional study of 461 women attending the antenatal clinic for their booking visit was carried out. Anaemia in pregnancy was defined as a PCV of <30%.The capillary technique was used for the estimation of the PCV while the morphologic type of anaemia was determined by the blood film appearance. The biosocial characteristics (age, parity and social class); and gestational age at booking were obtained and analyzed.
Results: Of the 461 pregnant women studied, 239 were anaemic thus making the prevalence of anaemia at booking to be 51.8%.The majority of these patients, 67.4% were mildly anaemic, 30.5% were moderately anaemic while only 2.1% were severely anaemic. Most, 316 (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. The blood film appearance of 238 (99.6%) of the anaemic women studied revealed features suggestive of Iron deficiency anaemia.
Conclusion: The prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy in our population is high and so studies should be carried out to determine the causes/predisposing factors so that more effective strategies can be implemented.
Recommendation: In the short term, prenatal haematinics should be provided at little or no cost to pregnant women. In the long run, the living standard of women in the society should be improved. This will lead to better nutrition which is expected to have a positive impact in reducing the high incidence of anaemia in pregnancy in our locality.