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Lack Of Awareness On Prevention Of Anaemia In Pregnancy Among Pregnant Women In Rural Area


Title page

Certificate page




Table of contents





1.1       Background to the study

1.2       Statement of problem

1.3       Objectives of the study

1.4       Research questions

1.5       Significance of the study

1.6       Scope of study

1.7       Operational definition of terms



2.1       Conceptual Review

2.1.1    Concept of Anaemia

2.1.2    Causes of Anaemia in Pregnancy

2.1.3    Management of Anaemia

2.2       Theoretical Review

2.3       Empirical review

2.4       Summary of Literature Reviewed



3.1       Research Design

3.2       Area of study

3.3       Target population

3.4       Sample Size

3.5       Sampling technique

3.6       Instruments for data collection

3.7       Validity of instrument

3.8       Reliability of Instrument

3.9       Method of data collection

3.10     Method of data analysis

3.11     Ethical consideration



Data Analysis



5.1       Discussion of Findings

5.2       Implications of findings to Nursing

5.3       Summary

5.4       Recommendations

5.5       Limitations of the Study

5.6       Suggestions for Further Studies









Anaemia in pregnancy is a common problem in most developing countries and a major cause of morbidity and mortality especially in malaria endemic areas. In pregnancy, anaemia has a significant impact on the health of the foetus as well as that of the mother. 20% of maternal deaths in Africa have been attributed to anaemia. Anemia during pregnancy is highly preventable and treatable. The researcher studied the lack of awareness on prevention of anaemia in pregnancy among pregnant women in rural areas. The study focused on pregnant women attending antenatal in Elele community, Emohua L.G.A, Rivers state. The study adopted a descriptive cross-sectional design and a self-designed questionnaire was the research instrument used for data collection. The researcher determined the sample size of 220 respondents for the study using Taro Yamane sample size formula. From the findings, the knowledge about anaemia and its causes, in this study is low (21.2%), majority of the respondents said they had never heard of anaemia. Most pregnant women in Elele community have been exposed to secondary education but unfortunately, were not well informed with the condition of anemia in pregnancy. The predisposing factors recognized to be responsible for anemia in pregnant women were parity (14.2%), adoption/miscarriage previously (28.1%), blood transfusion (23%), and being a sickle cell anaemia patient (28.3%). Increasing access to health information and quality services will greatly affect health seeking behavior and utilization of health services. The results indicated that the major challenge was finances with a response rate of 84.1%, followed by time constraint (62.3%), lack of support from family/friends (59.3%), and accessibility to ANC services (56.9%). The most valid strategy for managing anaemia was that regular medical checkup is necessary during pregnancy (70.4%). The prevalence of anaemia amongst the participants was high. The parity, gestational age at booking, educational status and the birth interval are factors that were found to have affected the prevalence of anaemia in this study. Therefore educating women on early antenatal booking and compliance with the use of prescribed medications (Iron Supplements, Folate and Antimalarials) should also be emphasized to reduce the problem of anaemia and its effect on pregnancy outcome in Nigeria.





1.1       Background to the study

Pregnancy is an important experience for mothers and women in general, but also one of the experiences of misery and suffering can be when complications and adverse circumstances endanger pregnancy, leading to illness or death (Patil, 2013). The reduction in hemoglobin is often accompanied by a decrease in the number of red blood cells and hematocrit (PCV, hematocrit) (WHO, 2011). For a person of a certain sex, age and place of residence, the hemoglobin in the blood must be below the reference level for the condition is described as anemic. Anemia itself is not a disease, but an indication of an underlying disease or condition (Okoro, 2015).

Anemia is a major public health problem worldwide, especially for women of childbearing potential in developing countries. In most countries around the world, an estimated 56 million pregnant women are anemic. It is estimated that the overall prevalence of anemia in pregnancy is approximately 41.8%, which differs from a minimum of 5.7% in the USA, up to 75% in Gambia (Chathuranga, Balasuriya and Perera, 2014). In the US, it was estimated that the anemia in pregnancy would increase from 1.8% to 27.4% in the first and third trimesters. Some women become anemic before pregnancy, while others become increasingly anemic during pregnancy (Goonewardene, Shehata and Hamad, 2012).

Anemia in pregnancy is 61% in developing countries (WHO / FHE / MSM / 93.5) with a high incidence and severity in pregnant women living in malaria areas and Africa accounts for about 20% of maternal deaths due to pregnancy anemia in fetuses high risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and perinatal mortality as a result of deterioration of placental oxygen (Idowu, Mafiana, and Dapo, 2015). Women often become anemic during pregnancy as there is a high demand for iron and other vitamins due to the physiological burden of pregnancy; inability to meet the required level of these substances either as a result of malnutrition or infection, leading to anemia (Van den Broek, 2016).

An estimated 2.15 billion people are iron deficient and that this deficiency is severe enough to cause anemia in 1.2 trillion people worldwide (WHO, 2012). Components About 90% of all anemia types have iron deficiency. In developing countries, almost half of the population suffers from iron deficiency (Viteri, 2012). About 47% of non-pregnant women and 60% of pregnant women suffer from anemia worldwide. In the developed world as a whole, the prevalence of anemia during pregnancy averages 18% and over 30% of them are iron deficient, and the poor most affected (Hughes, 2011).

Women of childbearing potential and pregnant women are at high risk for a negative balance and iron deficiency due to their increased iron requirements due to menstrual and pregnancy requirements. The average demand for iron absorption in adult women and in menstruating adolescents is estimated to be 1.36 mg/day and 1.73 mg/day, respectively. However, 15% of adult women who have menses need more than 2.0 mg/day and 5% even 2.84 mg/day. The superposition of menstrual losses and the growth of menstruating adolescents increase the need for absorbed iron; 30% require more than 2.0 mg/day; 10% up to 2.65 mg/day and 5% 3.2 mg/day. These requirements are very difficult to meet, even in diets enriched with good quality iron (WHO, 2012). The iron requirement increases significantly in the second and especially in the third quarter to an average of 5.6 mg/day (approximate range of 3.54 – 8.80 mg/day) food, therefore, the importance of iron stores to extract before pregnancy and iron supplements during the Pregnancy.

Iron deficiency during breastfeeding is mainly due to pregnancy and childbirth and can be alleviated in part by lactating amenorrhea. However, once menstruation recommences, iron needs to increase as breastfeeding continues. The risk of iron deficiency during pregnancy and lactation begins with inadequate iron stores during pregnancy in women of childbearing age. Folate deficiency has also been documented during pregnancy, often leading to iron deficiency anemia and combined folate. This is common among lower socioeconomic groups, who consume mainly grain-based diets (poor folic acid), which are enhanced by prolonged cooking and reheating. The folate requirement doubles in the second half of pregnancy and increases significantly with hemolytic processes such as malaria and hemoglobinopathies. The malabsorption processes, which are common among tropical and low socioeconomic groups, affect the absorption of folic acid (WHO, 2012).


1.2       Statement of problem    

Anemia is one of the most prevalent public health problems in the world. The WHO estimates that the number of anemia that affects people around the world is 3.5 trillion in developing countries and that about 50% of all anemia can be attributed to iron deficiency (WHO/UNICEF, 2014). The worldwide distribution of disease burden of iron deficiency anemia focuses mainly on Africa and the Southeast Asia-D region. These regions account for 71% of the global mortality rate and 65% of disability adjusted life years. While estimates of the prevalence of anemia may vary, a significant proportion of young children and women of childbearing age may be adopt anemic (WHO, 2012). It is the only nutrient deficiency that is also significant in industrialized countries. The study of the global database on anemia WHO shows that the most affected groups are pregnant women (48%) and children 5 to 14 years (46%). As expected, the prevalence of anemia in developing countries is three to four times higher than in industrialized countries. The most affected populations in developing countries are pregnant women (56%), school-age children (53%) and non-pregnant women (44%). In developed countries, the most affected groups are pregnant women (18%) and preschoolers (17%), followed by non-pregnant women and seniors, both at 12%. Asia has the world’s highest prevalence of anemia. followed by Africa (WHO, 2012). Almost half of all anemic women live in the Indian subcontinent, where 88% of them develop anemia during pregnancy.

Available data show that up to 60% of pregnant women in Niger, especially those who live in rural areas, are anemic during pregnancy (WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and World Bank, 2015). This anemia is mainly due to the deficiency of folic acid, iron, vitamins and trace elements. Therefore, it is more common in poor and malnourished women. Diet-related anemia is a major cause of unwanted pregnancy outcomes in Nigerian women. It is a direct and indirect cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. It leads to a delay in intrauterine fetal growth and thus to an increase in mortality rates, neonatal and perinatal mortality. Several Nigerian women have died from severe anemia during pregnancy (Hb <6.0 g / L) (WHO, 2012). Despite the high incidence of anemia as the cause of maternal mortality in Nigeria, very few interventions currently address anemia as a major problem of safe maternity in Nigeria. So far, only 58% of pregnant Nigerian women receive iron supplements during pregnancy (WHO, 2012). It is therefore imperative to study not just the prevalence of this concept, but the management and control measures, hence, this study on the management of anemia among pregnant women attending antenatal care in Elele community, Emohua L.G.A, Rivers state.


1.3       Objectives of the study

The general objective of this is to assess the lack of awareness on prevention of anaemia in pregnancy among pregnant women in rural area. Specifically, the study seeks to;

  1. Determine the factors that predispose to anaemia in pregnancy amongst pregnant women attending antenatal care in Elele community.
  2. Assess the strategies used by the pregnant women for the prevention and management of anaemia in Elele community
  3. Determine the challenges encountered in the management of Anaemia among pregnant women in Elele community


1.4       Research questions

The following questions were formulated based on the research problem and objectives;

  1. What are the factors that predispose to anaemia in pregnancy amongst pregnant women attending antenatal care in Elele community?
  2. What are the strategies used by the pregnant women for the prevention and management of anaemia in Elele community?
  3. What are the challenges encountered in the management of Anaemia among pregnant women in Elele community?


1.5       Significance of the study

Findings from the study would generate data on how pregnant women in Elele community, Emohua L.G.A seek routine healthcare during pregnancy for management of anaemia, and the eventual outcome. This information could serve as a basis for nurses, midwives, and other health workers to improve maternal health and reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. This could be done through improved maternal health care services and encouraged use through evidence based health education programmes. Also, findings will help the health care profession to create more awareness on maternal health and antenatal care services utilization targeted at mothers, because maternal health services when adopted will help maintain optimal health during pregnancy as well as timely management of problems like anaemia, should they arise.

This study would also serve as a point of reference and information based on the results that would be derived from the analysis and interpretation for policy implication by major stakeholders and health authorities. It is desirable to have information on management, prevention and control of anaemia among pregnant women to help bridge any identified gaps and enable them better understand the benefits of early detection, prevention and utilization of antenatal care. Lastly, this study will contribute to the existing body of literature and serve as a reference for future research in related fields.


1.6       Scope of study

This study is delimited to assessing the lack of awareness on prevention of anaemia in pregnancy among pregnant women in Elele community, Emohua L.G.A, Rivers state. The variables covered in this study include the knowledge on anaemia amongst pregnant women, prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy among pregnant women, predisposing factors to anaemia in pregnancy amongst pregnant women, and strategies used by the pregnant women for the prevention and management of anaemia in Elele community, Emohua L.G.A.


1.7       Operational definition of terms

Anaemia: is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet physiologic needs, which vary by age, sex, altitude, smoking, and pregnancy status. Anemia in pregnancy refers to a hemoglobin concentration of less than 110 g/L (less than 11 g/dL) in venous blood implying a reduction in the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.

Management: refers to a system of coordinated healthcare interventions and communications for people with conditions/diseases in which patient self-care efforts are significantly required.

Pregnant Women: this refers to women who are in their first to third semester of pregnancy; which is the time during which one or more offspring develops inside a woman.


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