Failure to address post-partum anaemia in Uganda.
Anaemia is a serious and common disorder which, when exacerbated by
pregnancy, after can have serious consequences for both mother and
child. In addition to immediate health problems it can lead to fatigue,
reduced work performance and increased susceptibility to infection. It
is therefore important that anaemia is addressed not only during
pregnancy but also in the postpartum period when iron stores are low.
This study investigated 349 post-partum women using both clinical signs
and laboratory tests of haemoglobin levels. It found 64% of women to
have anaemia--48.6% mild, 14.4% moderate and 1.4% severe. The women had
not attended health clinics for post-partum check-ups, although 80 of
the 349 presented at health clinics with other problems. This suggests
two things: post-partum services should be increased and mothers should
be checked and treated for anaemia at any postpartum clinical contact.
The study also showed that the use of pallor as a clinical sign to
detect anaemia was a sensitive method and detected most anaemic patients, but was not very specific, suggesting anaemia in some women
who were not in fact anaemic. (1)
(1.) Sserunjogi L, Scheutz F, Whyte SR. Postnatal anaemia:
neglected problems and missed opportunities in Uganda. Health Policy and