Prevalence, knowledge, and attitude of pregnant women on control measures of anaemia in Mbulu District, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Anaemia in pregnancy is the leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality, poor birth outcomes worldwide. Despite national and international efforts to redress this problem, maternal mortality and morbidity rates are far beyond the target of the fifth Millennium Development Goal particularly in developing countries. The current study aimed to assess the prevalence; knowledge and attitude of pregnant women towards control measures of anaemia in Mbulu District, Tanzania. This cross-sectional survey was conducted from November 2014 to July 2015 in Mbulu District in three health facilities whereby 354 pregnant women aged 15-49 years were involved. The anaemia status of the pregnant women was determined based on Hb cut-off value of <11g/dl as recommended by WHO. Malaria infection was tested by using Ag.pLDH/HRP2 MRDT. Socio-demographic factor and anaemia information were gathered by using semi-structured questionnaire. Statistical analyses were done by SPSS version 16.0 and results were presented as percentages, frequencies to describe social demographic characteristics. Knowledge and attitudes of pregnant women on anaemia were assessed using the index scale and Likert scale respectively. Fisher’s exact test was used to determine associations between variables at statistical significance level of <0.05. Multivariable logistic regression was run to quantify the risk factors for occurrence of anaemia. The overall prevalence of anaemia was 38.7% while the prevalence of malaria was 7.1%. Generally, the study revealed that pregnant women had low knowledge and negative attitude towards control measures of anaemia in Mbulu district. High parity was found to be a risk factor for anaemia in pregnancy (OR=13, 95% CI: 5.7-47 for 3-4 parity and OR=25, 95% CI: 12.5-37 for parity ≥ 5). Therefore, there is a need for strengthening health education on anaemia and related determinants to pregnant and non-pregnant women of child bearing age and sensitization on the usage of family planning method.