Prevalence of anemia among pregnant women at community area
Jagadeeswari J, Soniya, Priyanka G
Anemia continues to be a major public health problem worldwide with the highest prevalence in developing countries. It is found especially among women of reproductive age, young children and during pregnancy and lactation. Anemia affects half a billion women of reproductive age worldwide. In 2011, 29% (496 million) of non -pregnant women and 38% (32.4million) of pregnant women aged 15-49 years were anemic. Nutritional anemia is a disease syndrome caused by malnutrition in its widest sense. According to WHO, anemia is defined as a condition in which the hemoglobin content of blood is lower than normal as a result of a deficiency of one or more essential nutrients, regardless of the cause such deficiency. The present study aim to assess the prevalence of anemia among pregnant women at community area. This prospective observational study was conducted among 100 pregnant women who were residing in a community area, Eriyamangalam, for a period of 2 weeks. Anemia was classified as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) criteria. The diagnosis of anemia was undertaken by peripheral blood smear examination and standard hemoglobin estimation by shale’s method. The average age of pregnant women was 23.5 years, ranging between 18 and 40 years. Most of the women belonged to below poverty line families (84.6%) and Hindu religion (98%). Regarding education, 28.9% were illiterates. The mean hemoglobin level was found to be 8.95. Prevalence of anemia was 96.5% among the pregnant females in this region of Eriyamangalam. Out of these 22.47% had mild anemia, 56.30% had moderate anemia, 14.98% had severe anemia and 2.73% very severe anemia according to ICMR classification of anemia. High prevalence of anemia among pregnant women indicates anemia to be a major public health problem in the rural community and indicates strict implementation of National Nutrition Anemia prophylaxis programme. Factors such as socioeconomic status, education, birth interval, and Gravida contribute to this high prevalence.