Research Article: Anaemia in Pregnancy: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Adverse Perinatal Outcomes in Northern Tanzania

Date Published: May 2, 2018

Publisher: Hindawi

Author(s): Grace Stephen, Melina Mgongo, Tamara Hussein Hashim, Johnson Katanga, Babill Stray-Pedersen, Sia Emmanueli Msuya.


Anaemia in pregnancy is a public health problem in developing countries. This study aimed to determine the prevalence, risk factors, and adverse perinatal outcomes of anaemia among pregnant women in Moshi Municipal, Northern Tanzania.

This was a follow-up study conducted from October 2013 to June 2015. A total of 539 pregnant women were enrolled in this study. Interviews were conducted followed by determination of haemoglobin level. Women were followed up at delivery and at 7 days and 28 days after delivery.

A total of 529 women were included in this analysis. Their mean age was 25.8 (SD 5.73). The prevalence of anaemia was 18.0% and 2% had severe anaemia. The clinic of recruitment and low education level of the women were the factors that were independently associated with anaemia during pregnancy. At delivery, there were 10 stillbirths, 16 low birth weight (LBW) newborns, and 2 preterm birth cases. No association was found between anaemia and LBW, preterm birth, or stillbirths.

Anaemia in pregnancy was a mild public health problem in the study setting of Northern Tanzania.

Partial Text

Anaemia during pregnancy is a public health problem especially in developing countries and is associated with adverse outcomes in pregnancy [1]. World Health Organization (WHO) has defined anaemia in pregnancy as the haemoglobin (Hb) concentration of less than 11 g/dl [2]. According to WHO, anaemia is considered to be of a public health significance or problem if population studies find the anaemia prevalence of 5.0% or higher. Prevalence of anaemia of ≥40% in a population is classified as a severe public health problem [3].

The study findings showed that prevalence of anaemia during pregnancy from the two selected health centres in Moshi Municipal was 18.0%. The clinic of recruitment and secondary or higher education among women were factors that were associated with anaemia in pregnancy. Anaemia in pregnancy was not associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes in this setting.

Anaemia in pregnancy was a mild public health problem in Northern Tanzania. The main risk factors were found to be the place of residence and education level of the pregnant woman. Ongoing interventions to target anaemia during pregnancy seem to be working in this setting and they should reach universal coverage. Further, we recommend ongoing education about effects of anaemia especially among women with low education and population of adolescent women and women of reproductive age in general.




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