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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 Planning 2003;18(20):225-31.
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Title Annotation:Service Delivery
Publication:Reproductive Health Matters
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:6UGAN
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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