Iron Deficiency Anemia In Pregnancy: The Fate Of The Mother And The Unborn Child In The Gambia

Type Journal Article - International Journal of Innovative Research and Advanced Studies (IJIRAS)
Title Iron Deficiency Anemia In Pregnancy: The Fate Of The Mother And The Unborn Child In The Gambia
Volume 3
Issue 12
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 54-59
Studies have indicated that iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy is a risk factor for preterm delivery, low
birth weight and poor neonatal health. Women of reproductive age with severe anaemia are eight times more likely to die
than those with higher haemoglobin levels. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine the effects of iron
deficiency anaemia on pregnancy and its birth outcome based on a review of the literature, and share The Gambian
experience. In The Gambia, the effect of Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) in pregnancy and its outcome is not well
documented. Despite the fact that all pregnant women upon registration at all health facilities are given iron/folate
tablets until 6 weeks postpartum and anti- malaria prophylaxis, IDA in pregnancy is one of the most prevalent
micronutrient malnutrition of public health importance in this country. About 68% of pregnant women are found to be
anaemic which is more prevalent in the rural than in the urban areas and 19.9% of babies weight at birth had low birth
weight (<2.5kg). The maternal mortality ratio of The Gambia though declining albeit slowly, is unacceptability high.
Hemorrhage which is one of the five leading causes of maternal death accounting for 25% of all cases in this country
which may be exacerbated by pre-existing maternal anemia. However, the high prevalence of anaemia among
reproductive age women in The Gambia, has been associated with under-nutrition due to poverty, food deficit, poor
dietary habits and low status of women. Therefore, addressing maternal nutrition is key to improving birth outcomes and
reducing maternal deaths associated with anaemia. Studies targeting the effect of IDA on pregnancy and birth outcome is
highly needed in the Gambia.

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