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Rapid assessment of factors associated with the consumption of iron folic acid tablets by pregnant women in northern india

Author: 
Manushi Srivastava, Ratan K. Srivastava,Vineeta Singh and Prakash V Kotecha
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Iron Deficiency Anaemia is a worldwide public health problem. Estimates from the WHO report that from 35% to 75% of pregnant women in developing countries are anaemic. In India, anaemia is the most common nutritional problem affecting more than ½ of the total population particularly in children and pregnant women where the incident is 50 to 97%. Anaemia prevalence is highest among pregnant women, infants, and young children due to the high iron demands of growth and pregnancy. Purpose: To assess the factors associated with the consumption of iron folic acid tablets by pregnant women. Methods: It was a community based cross-sectional study, which was undertaken from August to December 2009. Sample size was calculated keeping 95% confidence level and with 10% confidence interval, covered 3 blocks, and interviewed 120 respondents by including 25% extra respondents to get desired sample. Results: Most of the respondents were Hindu (85.3%) by religion and two-fifth respondents were either illiterate (40.7%) or had education up to primary / middle level (34%). However, very few (6.7 %) respondents were educated up to graduate or above. It was noted that 98% respondents had heard about IFA and majority of them (132/147, 89.8%) had taken IFA Tablets. Conclusion: The study subjects of northern part of India had a low level of compliance towards IFA Tablets during pregnancy. The compliance level was influenced by source of information and socio-economic status of the subjects. The perceived side effects and lack of awareness regarding IFA during pregnancy may have decreased the compliance. Though the grass root level health workers were trying to minimize the gap between beneficiaries and service providers regarding IFA consumption but this study reports that there is lack of felt need by the respondents regarding their own health and baby’s health.

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