Research Article: Maternal Anemia in Rural Jordan: Room for Improvement

Date Published: September 12, 2011

Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Author(s): Lama Al-Mehaisen, Yousef Khader, Oqba Al-Kuran, Fayrouz Abu Issa, Zouhair Amarin.


The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to estimate the prevalence and determine factors associated with anemia among pregnant women in rural Jordan. A cohort of 700 pregnant women from a National Health Service hospital and ten health centers completed a questionnaire. Of the total, 243 (34.7%) had anemia. The prevalence was the highest for women in their 3rd trimester (42.5%) compared to those in 2nd trimester (32.7%) and 1st trimester (18.9%). Gestational age, body mass index, history of previous surgery, and multivitamin intake during pregnancy were significantly associated with anemia. Women in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters had higher odds of anemia (OR = 2.2 and 3.3, resp.). Underweight women had higher odds of anemia (OR = 2.9). History of previous surgery and multivitamin intake during pregnancy were associated with higher odds of anemia (OR = 1.6 and 1.9, resp.).

Partial Text

Reducing maternal mortality is one of the eight health related Millennium Development Goals (MDG5) adopted at the Millennium Summit in 2000. Within this framework, the international community is committed to reduce Maternal Mortality by three quarters between 1990 and 2015 [1]. Hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality [2]. Anemia is one of the world’s leading causes of hemorrhage and disability [3] and thus is one of the most serious global public health problems.

This cross-sectional study was conducted among pregnant women in Bani-Kenana rural district in the period between April and August 2009. A total of 700 consecutive pregnant women who attended the main hospital in Bani-Kenana, a rural area in the north of Jordan, for antenatal care during the study period were invited to participate in the study. All women agreed to participate. An informed verbal consent was obtained from each woman. All women had spontaneous pregnancies.

Table 1 summarizes the sociodemographic, obstetric, and relevant characteristics of women. Their age ranged from 15 to 45 years with a mean (SD) of 28.8 (5.8) years. About half of women (43.4%) were 30 years of age or more. Only one third had educational level higher than high school and 13.7% were employed.

In Jordan, among 1406 deaths of women of reproductive age identified for the 2007–2008 period out of 397 588 live births, 76 (5.4%) maternal deaths were identified, giving an MMR of 19.1 deaths per 100 000 live births. Of the 76 maternal deaths, 19 (25.0%) were caused by hemorrhage, which was the most common direct cause of maternal death and the most frequent cause-specific maternal mortality factor [41].




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