PLoS One. 2022 Aug 19;17(8):e0272488. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0272488. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: Socio-demographic factors influence the magnitude of anemia in endemic areas. The purpose of this study is to establish the magnitude of anemia and to determine anemia preventive practices carried out by mothers with children under five years of age in the Kadjebi District of the Volta region of Ghana.
METHODS: This purposive sampling study involved women of reproductive age with children less than five years of age from Saint Mary Theresa Hospital and nurses practicing in the pediatric ward of the hospital. A questionnaire and interview guide were administered respectively, and the data collected were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21.
RESULTS: A total of 150 participants were studied; among which analysis of anemia was carried out on 129 women whose children had their hemoglobin levels checked and recorded in the laboratory. Hemoglobin levels recorded for these children showed that 85.3% were anemic, even though 93.8% of the mothers had been given iron supplements during their pregnancy. Furthermore, anemia prevention practices comprised whether the child had been given any anti-malaria prophylaxis (98.4% denied), if the child had been dewormed in the last three months (89.9% denied), whether the child was given iron supplements in the last three months (59.7% denied), if the child had been given vitamin supplements in the last three months (24.0% denied).
CONCLUSION: Most of the children in the study were anemic. Mothers practiced exclusive breastfeeding, iron, and vitamin supplementation, and ensured that children slept under insecticide-treated mosquito nets as a means of preventing malaria.