Anemia during Pregnancy; How much is Known? A Case of Moshi Town in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania

Rogate Ndosi, Jaffu Chilongola and Edith Kwigizile
Publication year: 

Aims: Knowledge and practices of both men and women on factors that contribute to anemia in pregnancy needs to determined if sound and successful measures to prevent pregnancy anemia are to be implemented. This study was designed to understand knowledge, practices and attitudes of pregnant women and men on anemia during pregnancy.

Study Design: This was a cross sectional study. Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in Moshi town, in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania between January and May, 2012 in 4 health centers.

Methodology: A total of 64 participants were enrolled, involving 44 pregnant women, 11 in each study centre, 18-45 years old, and 20 married men, 5 in each center attending health care services. A structured, ‘close ended question’ questionnaire was used for data capturing after it was pre-tested. Participants were asked questions and responses were recorded by the investigator. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS 20.0) in which mainly descriptive statistics was used.

Results: Approximately 82% (n=36) of women were spending ≤ 60 minutes to reach the ANC, majority (68.2%, n=30) incurring less than Tanzanian Shillings (TAS) 1,000 per visit while 13.6% (n=6) were parting with more than TAS 2,000 per visit. Compliance to required 4 antenatal clinics (ANC) visits was high by 93.2% (n=41) with a mean gestation age at first visit at 18th week. Causes of anemia were known by 93.8% (n=42), with 79.7%, 96.2%, 80.8% and 67.4% having good knowledge on malaria as a cause of anemia, foods and medications that prevent anemia and cut off hemoglobin level for anemia, respectively. Knowledge on effects of anemia on birth outcomes was poor with 17 (26.6%) with adequate knowledge.

Conclusion: Although ANC services are very accessible in the study area and pregnant women keep ANC visits, we report presence of inadequate knowledge on anemia in pregnancy, particularly effects on birth outcomes. Strengthened training and increased scope of education on reproductive health in general during ANC clinics should be prioritized.