More than 58pc of isles pregnant women is anemic

MORE than 58 percent of pregnant women who give birth at health facilities in Zanzibar are anaemic, a situation that puts the mother at greater risk for having a pre-term delivery or low-birth-weight baby.

Being anemic also burdens the mother by increasing the risk of blood loss during labor and making it more difficult to fight infections.

According to the statistics from the Zanzibar Nutrition Unit, the situation leads to 8 percent of children being born prematurely and 17 percent of them are delivered malnourished.

Commenting on the figure, a physician at the Fuoni health facility in Zanzibar West , Sultan Shela, said that anaemia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality of pregnant women and increases the risks of foetal, neonatal and infant mortality.

However, he said that malnutrition in pregnancy occurs when a pregnant woman does not consume the proper amount of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals, and consequently their physical function is impaired.

He said causes of malnutrition in pregnancy include ignorance, poverty, illness and infection and culture.

“Others are bleeding, severe nausea and vomiting, decline in baby’s activity level, early contractions in the third trimester, amniotic fluid breaks and a persistent severe headache, abdominal pain, visual disturbance and swelling were among the identified signs and symptoms of malnutrition in pregnancy,” he said.

Sultan said malnutrition affects the development of children that may last a lifetime.

According to the data, malnutrition remains one of Zanzibar’s most serious public health problem and the single biggest contributor to maternal and child mortality.

The prevalence of anemia among pregnant women in Africa is 57.1% of pregnant women are anaemic and one of the many causes is iron deficiency.

Meanwhile, the statistics further show that 30 percent of mothers are able to breastfeed their children and 70 percent do not breastfeed properly.

One thought on “More than 58pc of isles pregnant women is anemic

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