Tema Metro records increase in anaemia in pregnancy for first quarter 2024 Laudia Sawer
Anaemia in pregnancy increased by 14.5 per cent among pregnant women in the Tema Metropolis between January and March this year.

Date Created : 5/15/2024 12:00:00 AM : Story Author :

Mr. Samuel Atuahene Antwi, the Tema Metropolitan Nutritionist, revealed this in an interview saying 37.7 percent of pregnant women reported with anaemia on their first day of antenatal care in the first quarter of this year, compared to the 28.2 per cent recorded within the same period in 2023.

Mr. Antwi said out of the percentage seen, Manhean and Tema Community One accounted for 50 per cent of the increase.

He further disclosed that 3.2 per cent of them were severely anaemic at registration, compared to 0.55 per cent for the first quarter of 2023.

He added that 41.4 percent of pregnant women in the Tema Metropolis were anaemic at 36 weeks of gestation, showing a sharp increase over the 2023 first quarter’s 26.9 per cent; 2.2 percent of them were severely anaemic at 36 weeks.

He attributed the increase in anaemia in pregnancy cases to the women starting to report for antenatal care late in their pregnancies when little intervention could be made.

The nutritionist further said another contributing factor was how much nutritious food they ate and whether they considered all the counselling on nutrition and the need to take their supplements.

He explained that Manhean and Community One had most of the anaemic pregnant women because most of them registered very late, mostly in the later part of their second trimester, while others showed up in the third trimester.

“Most of them are unemployed; most do not adhere to nutritional recommendations, and some also do not stop the substances that inhibit iron absorption, such as tea and caffeinated drinks, among others,” he stated.

Mr. Antwi said anaemia in pregnancy could lead to poor foetus formation due to inadequate nutrition, abortions (miscarriages), low birth weight, weakness, palpitations, and maternal mortality due to haemorrhage.

He urged pregnant women to start antenatal care early, adhere to counselling and recommendations, especially with their nutrition, and comply with their supplement regimen.

He added that they must eat healthily by consuming a variety of staples, vegetables, fruits, animal-source foods, legumes, and healthy oils, as well as good water intake.

The nutritionist entreated family and friends of pregnant women to help provide them with nutritious meals or ingredients, encourage them to eat well, support them in visiting the health facility, and remind them to take their supplements.