Factors associated with the prevalence of anaemia among Maasai and non-Maasai women attending antenatal clinic in Kajiado district, Kenya
Anaemia in pregnancy is a Public Health problem globally and particularly in many developing countries like Kenya. Kajiado District has a high prevalence (58.4%) of anaemia among the Maasai pregnant women. The main objective of the current study was to determine factors that influence the prevalence of anaemia in pregnant women aged 15 to 45 years attending antenatal clinic. A cross-sectional study was conducted 111health facilities in four divisions namely: Central, Namanga, Mashuru and Isinya. Pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at the selected health facilities and who met the selection criteria were included, (n=207). A standard questionnaire was used to record data on demographic and socio-economic status, food consumption and dietary intake, clinical assessment and laboratory findings on haemoglobin levels, malarial and intestinal parasites. A 24 hours dietary recall was conducted in the bomes of a sub-sample, (n=30). Data was analyzed using SPSS version 10 software. Descriptive statistics included measures of central tendency and dispersion for continuous data and proportions for categorical variations. Inferential statistics were Chi square tests and ANOYA to determine associations. The prevalence of anaemia was determined LlSl11ghaemoglobin levels. The average haemoglobin levels among the Maasai (n=137) was 9.6 g/dl (± =1.97), while the average haemoglobin levels of the non-Maasai group (n=70) was 10.6 g/dl (± =1.88). The difference between the two was statistically significant (P<O.Ol). More than half (58.4%) of the Maasai pregnant women were anaemic, while only (41.6%) of the non-Maasai group were anaemic (Hb < 10g/dl). The study found a significant association bet ween Maasai pregnant women who were single with anaemia prevalence. About half (58.3%) or the Maasai had low Vitamin A intakes. The consumption of dark leafy vegetables and milk in the non-Maasai group had significant association with anaemia prevalence P<0.05 (0.006) and (0.005) respectively. There was lack of association between parasitic infections, morbidity patterns and anaemia. However, among the Maasai, there was a strong association with anaemia prevalence and lack of latrines in the homesteads P<0.05 (0.436). Anaemia is prevalent among pregnant Maasai women. Diet and personal hygiene practices contributed towards anaemia. Health and nutrition education on the importance of pregnant women attending antenatal clinic and practicing sanitary measures in their homesteads is necessary. Food preparation methods to improve on the diversification of diets should be emphasized through cooking demonstrations.