An Assessment On The Incidence Of Anemia Among Pregnant Women

Medical and Health Science Project and Seminar Material

An Assessment On The Incidence Of Anemia Among Pregnant Women


Anemia in pregnancy, particularly iron deficiency, is a prominent problem in developing countries. The aim of the present study was to identify the prevalence of Anemia among pregnant women attending ante-natal care units of selected hospitals of in Anambra state. About 1077 pregnant women were screened for Anemia using Cyanmethemoglobin method during the first ante-natal visit. The prevalence of Anemia was found to be 50.14 per cent which is nearly equivalent to the prevalence rate reported in the literature. Further, findings of the study revealed that the prevalence was higher among young women, women belonging to low socio- economic status and women with short pregnancy intervals and higher parity. High prevalence rate of Anemia observed in the present study suggests implementing various preventive strategies, especially advocacy and monitoring of the iron and folic acid supplementation.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Pregnancy is not just a matter of waiting to give birth but a joyful and a fulfilling period in a woman’s life. It can also be one of the experiences of misery and suffering when complications or adverse circumstances compromise the pregnancy, causing ill health or even death

  1. Anemia in pregnancy is a common and serious problem in developing countries. Anemia is the term used to describe the condition in which there is a reduction in the concentration of haemoglobin in the blood stream to a level below 11gm/dl for pregnant women.
  2. Forty per cent of all maternal peri-natal deaths are linked to Anemia. Favourable pregnancy outcomes occur (30-45%) less often in anaemic mothers and their infants have less than one and a half of normal iron reserves.
  3. The prevalence of Anemia in urban areas, rural areas and endemic areas of hook-worm infestation is 40 to 50 per cent, 50 to 70 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively. A high prevalence of Anemia in pregnancy was observed (96.5%), of which 22.8 per cent had mild,50.9 per cent had moderate and 22.8 per cent had severe Anemia in a study conducted in Delhi5. The reported incidence of Anemia varied from 40 to 90 per cent in various states of India and contributed to 10 to 15 per cent of the direct maternal deaths.

Anemia is commonly defined as a reduction in the haemoglobin of red blood cells with consequent deficiency of oxygen in the blood leading to weakness and palor (The free Dictionary on line). The World Health Organization has set a minimum cut- off mark for Anemia in pregnancy which is taken as 11gm/dl in the first half of pregnancy and 10.5gm/dl in the second half of pregnancy (WHO, 1972; 1992; 1993). Extensive studies have been done on the incidence/prevalence of Anemia in pregnant women in Nigeria (Abidoye et al, 1992; Idowu et al, 2005; Nduka et al, 2006; Dim and Onah, 2007; Bukar et al, 2008; Ugwuja et al, 2010; Adesina et al, 2011). In the South East zone of the country, Nduka et al (2006) reported Anemia in 385 out of 500 pregnant women (77%). This study was carried out in two main cities in Abia state, Nigeria, namely Aba and Okigwe. At Enugu, Dim and Onah (2007) reported Anemia prevalence rate of 40.4% in a teaching hospital based study. The authors associated Anemia with late registration for antenatal by the pregnant women and the majority of them (90.7%) had mild Anemia. In another study at AbakalikiEbonyi state, Nigeria, Ugwaja et al (2010) reported Anemia prevalence of 72.2%. In this study 63.6% of the cases were due to iron deficiency. In the South-South zone,Okafor et al (2011) reported a prevalence rate of 61.1% and 70.1% of the sample population had evidence of malaria infection. Abidoye et al (1992) reported Anemia in 31 out of 100 pregnant women in Port Harcourt representing a prevalence rate of 31%. In a recent study, Ndukwu et al (2012) reported a prevalent rate of 62.6% in a sample of 227 pregnant women. In the South- West zone of Nigeria, Adesina et al (2011) reported Anemia in 30% of his study population while Idowu et al (2005) had earlier reported a prevalence rate of 76.5% in a non teaching hospital based study at Abeokuta, Ogun state Nigeria. In the Northern zone, Bukar et al (2008) reported Anemia in 239 out of 461 pregnant women studied representing a prevalence rate of 51.8%. Other investigators reported Anemia prevalence rate between 33-75% (Iloabachie and Meniru, 1990; Massawe et al 1999; Ogunbode, 2003). Some studies outside Nigeria also reported high prevalence of Anemia in pregnancy. At Porto Novo Cape Verde, Okeke (2011) reported a prevalence rate of 38.8% with majority of his sample population (160) having mild degree of Anemia. An Indian teaching hospital based study by Lokare et al (2012) reported a prevalence rate of 87.21%. The present study was therefore designed to do an assessment on the incidence of Anemia prevalence of Anemiain pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Anambra state South-Eastern Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Anemia is one of the most frequent complications related to pregnancy. The word implies a decrease in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and is best characterized by a reduction in hemoglobin concentration. This may be either relative or absolute. It is known that there is a larger increase in plasma volume relative to red cell mass in almost all pregnancies, and it accounts for “physiologic anemia.” These alterations have been known for centuries, and the term “plethora gravidarum” from medieval ages indicates this condition. However, it is still an open question to what extent this “hydremia” is physiologic or pathologic. There are two contrasting medical philosophies covering this problem. Accord- ing to the first, it is preferable to prevent pregnant women from developing too low hemoglobin concentrations. According to another point of view the “physiologic anemia” is of great importance for normal fetal growth and should be passively ob- served. Moreover, the relationship between a successful outcome of pregnancy and this normal expansion in maternal plasma volume has been noted, it is in line of this that this study seeks to carry out an assessment on the incidence of anemia among pregnant women.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of this study is to find out the factors responsible for the poor performances of students in English language in selected seniorsecondary schools in Kaduna metropolis of Kaduna State.Specifically the study is:

  1. To determine the prevalence of Anemia according to selected demographic variables.
  2. To examine the Prevalence of Anemia and Its Severity among pregnant women.
  3. To determine the rate of Prevalence of Anemia According to Disease and Structural Variables.
  4. To examine the Prevalence of Anemia according to biological variables.

1.4 Research Questions

The study is guided on the following research questions.

  1. How is the Prevalence of Anemia and Its Severity among pregnant women?
  2. What is the rate of Prevalence of Anemia According to Disease and Structural Variables?
  3. What is the Prevalence of Anemia according to biological variables?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The result of the study will be useful to students of health, researchers, scholars and educationists who use it for further studies and the Government in policy making.

It will serve as resource materials for others who want to carry out research in related field.

1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

This research work focuses on the aim of the present study was to identify the prevalence of Anemia among pregnant women attending ante-natal care units of selected hospitals of in Anambra state

The researcher also encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following.

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

1.7 Definition of Terms Computer


The medical condition in which the blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells.


This refers to the period from conception to birth when a woman carries a developing fetus in her uterus.

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to reiterate that the objective of this study was assess the incidence of anemia among pregnant women. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in assessing the incidence of anemia among pregnant women.

5.2 Summary

This study aimed at having a critical analysis of an assessment on the incidence of anemia among pregnant women. The study opened with chapter one where the statement of the problem was clearly defined. The study objectives and research hypotheses were defined and formulated respectively. The study reviewed related and relevant literatures. The chapter two gave the conceptual framework, empirical and theoretical studies. The third chapter described the methodology employed by the researcher in collecting both the primary and the secondary data. The research method employed here is the descriptive survey method. The study analyzed and presented the data collected in tables while the fifth chapter gives the study summary and conclusion.

5.3 Conclusion and Recommendations

Anaemia continues to be a problem with the existing health care resources. Socio-economic status, literacy of women and awareness related to health concerns are the major determinants that contribute to the problem of anaemia. Therefore, public health education/information on reproductive health, monitoring the compliance of women with ante-natal care services, and strengthening of their health care seeking behaviour are important health care measures to be undertaken at the community level.

Also, it is time for realization that health system should focus on various factors that contribute to the occurrence of anaemia and include them as an important indicator in the national health care policy.

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