Prevalence and factors associated with anaemia among children 6-59 months of age attending Jinja Regional Referral Hospital Nambaje

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Kampala International University. School of Health Sciences (Western Campus)
Background: According to the WHO (2011) anemia is ranked a severe public health problem (defined as a prevalence of equal to or more than 40%) and is second after malaria to cause mortality among children below five years in developing countries mostly because of poor diet and access to food due to poverty, ignorance and poor sanitation in rural areas. Anemia has been established as a global public health problem affecting about one third of the world’s population, notably pre-school aged children with a global prevalence in those between 0-5 years rising to 47.4%. Anemia can adversely affect cognitive advancement, performance in school, physical and behavioral growth especially in developing countries where resources to determine the underlying etiology remain poor. Therefore, this study aimed at determining the prevalence of anemia and the associated factors among children aged 6 to 59 months attending Jinja Regional Referral Hospital. Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional descriptive and analytical study to determine the prevalence and the factors associated with anemia was conducted in JRRH. A sample size of 288 was chosen. Consecutive enrollment technique was used whereby study subjects were recruited as they came and as they met the inclusion criteria. A total of two hundred (200) respondents took part in the study. Results: Majority (41%) were between 6 to 11 months, 55% were males and 45% females. The prevalence of anemia among the children was 61%; where 15% had mild anaemia, 24.0% being moderate and 22.00% being severe. The prevalence was highest in children 12-23 months at 30%. The factors that were associated with anaemia included; child having had an episode of fever in the past three months (P=0.050), malaria diagnosis (P=0.000), presence of sickle cell disease (P=0.046) and respondent’s education level being either at no education (P=0.007) or at primary level (P=0.041). The risk factors that increased the likelihood of anaemia included low or no education level of the respondent, positive malaria diagnosis and sickle cell anaemia Conclusion: Prevalence of anemia among children aged 6 to 59 months was high in JRRH. Presence and severity of anemia was positively correlated with malaria, sickle cell anaemia and low education level of caretakers. There is need to invest in measures to prevent anaemia and sensitization of masses on early malaria detection, sickle cell screening and dangers of anaemia.
A research dissertation submitted to the faculty of clinical medicine and dentistry in partial fulfilment as a requirement for the award of Degree Of Bachelor Of Medicine And Bachelor Of Surgery of Kampala International University
Anaemia among children 6-59, Prevalence