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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5358
Vol. 16, No. 4, 2016, pp. 11152-11167
Bioline Code: nd16055
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 16, No. 4, 2016, pp. 11152-11167

Agbemafle, I; Steiner-Asiedu, M; Saalia, FK; Setorglo, J; Chen, J & Philips, RD


Anaemia among women is a major public health concern globally. In developing countries, nutritional anaemia may be due to poor bioavailability of dietary iron, haemoglobinopathies, or intestinal parasites. The study objectives were to determine the prevalence of anaemia and current nutrient intakes essential to erythropoiesis among women of reproductive age (WRA) in peri-urban settlements in the Ga-East Municipality, Accra, Ghana. This cross-sectional study assessed the nutrient intake, sickling and haemoglobin levels of 134 women aged 15-49 years enrolled in a peanut-based field trial at baseline. A pretested semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire was used to assess energy and nutrient intake using the Food Processor (ESHA) software. Whole blood was used to determine full blood count using the haematology automated analyser. Sickling was determined by blood staining. Anaemia was classified based on recommended cut-offs. Chi-square analysis was used as a test of independence between anaemia and age groups. Linear regression was used to determine predictors of haemoglobin concentration. The mean age of the women was 29 ± 8 years. The mean total caloric intake was 2315 ± 915 kcal, whilst protein and fat intakes were 67 ± 27g and 68± 30g, respectively. Almost three-quarters of the women met the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iron and vitamin C. However, only a third met the RDA for fat, and about two-thirds met their needs for energy and protein. None of the women met the RDA for folate which is integral for haem formation. Also 17% (23/134) of the women were sickle cell anaemia positive. Mean haemoglobin concentration was 12.1 ± 1.8 g/dL. Mild, moderate and severe anaemia due to iron deficiency was present in 35.8%, 6.7% and 1.5%, of the women respectively. All categories of anaemia was present in 44% of the women. Anaemia, prevalence increased during the early stages of the reproductive age (15-29 years) and declined towards the end of the reproductive age period (40-49 years). An increase in age of one year was significantly associated with a 0.056 g/dL rise in haemoglobin level (p=0.014). Anaemia due to iron deficiency exists as a public health problem among women in peri-urban settlements in the Ga-East Municipality, Accra, Ghana. Dietary diversity to include green leafy vegetables which are rich in folate and pro-vitamin A may reduce the current level of prevalence.

Anaemia; Nutrients; Peri-urban; Women; RDA; sickling test; Food Processor software

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