Prevalence of childhood iron deficiency anaemia in children visiting a peri-urban health care facility
Murila, Florence V
MetadataShow full item record
Children of ages 6 months to 6 years were recruited in a cross-sectional survey to determine the prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia and its associated factors in the Minnesota International Volunteers Health Facility, a peri-urban health centre. A total of 403 children were recruited during the months of February and March 1993. History taking included details of age, sex, birth weight, breastfeeding, weaning age and diet, sanitation, water source and mother's education. Each child was then examined for signs of iron deficiency anaemia. Blood was drawn from each child and the diagnosis of iron deficiency anaemia was made on the basis of a low haemoglobin, a low mean corpuscular volume and a low serum ferritin. Stool was examined for helminths using the formal ether concentration method. The mean age of the 403 children studied was 28.51 months (SD = 19.3). The prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia was found to be 7.4% (95% CI=4.8-1O.0) and iron deficiency anaemia was found to be the most frequent cause of anaemia accounting for 38.5% of the total anaemia. Most of the iron deficiency anaemia, 93.6% , was mild and none of the subjects studied had the signs of iron deficiency anaemia. Age was found to have a significant association with iron deficiency anaemia with prevalence being highest, 14.6 %, in those in the first year of life followed by a prevalence of 6.7% in those in the second year of life. No association was found between iron deficiency anaemia and sex, birth weight, weaning age and diet, sanitation, water source, heminthiasis and mother's education. It was therefore recommended that further study be carried out to determine the risk factors associated with iron deficiency anaemia in children of ages 6 months to 6 years attending the Minnesota International Health Volunteers facility with emphasis on those of age below one year.