Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Maternal anaemia in West and Central Africa: time for urgent action

  • Mohamed Ag Ayoya (a1), Mohamed Ag Bendech (a2), Noel Marie Zagré (a3) and Félicité Tchibindat (a4)
Abstract
AbstractObjective

To review the prevalence, severity and determinants of anaemia among women in West and Central Africa (WCA) and raise awareness among policy makers and programme planners in the region.

Design

Systematic descriptive review of data in the public domain of the ORC Macro MEASURE Demographic and Health Surveys, national nutrition surveys, oral and technical communications at regional meetings, studies published in scientific journals, and WHO and UNICEF databases.

Setting

West and Central Africa region.

Subjects

Women of childbearing age.

Results

The prevalence of anaemia among pregnant and non-pregnant women is higher than 50 % and 40 %, respectively, in all countries. Within countries, this prevalence varies by living setting (rural v. urban), women's age and education. Across countries, socio-economic and climatic differences have no apparent association with the prevalence of anaemia among women. Several factors contribute either alone or jointly to the high rates of maternal anaemia in this region. These include widespread nutritional deficiencies; high incidence of infectious diseases; low access to and poor quality of health services; low literacy rates; ineffective design, implementation and evaluation of anaemia control programmes; and poverty.

Conclusions

Addressing the multiple causes and minimizing the consequences of anaemia on maternal and child health and development in WCA require integrated multifactorial and multisectoral strategies. This also calls for unprecedented, historical and stronger political will and commitment that put adolescent girls and maternal health at the centre of the development agenda.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Maternal anaemia in West and Central Africa: time for urgent action
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Maternal anaemia in West and Central Africa: time for urgent action
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Maternal anaemia in West and Central Africa: time for urgent action
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email mayoya@unicef.org
References
Hide All
1. World Health Organization (2000) Worldwide Prevalence of Anaemia 1993–2005: WHO Global Database on Anaemia. Geneva: WHO.
2. Rasmussen KM (2001) Is there a causal relationship between iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia and weight at birth, length of gestation and perinatal mortality? J Nutr 131, 2 Suppl. 2, 590S603S.
3. Cogswell ME, Parvanta I, Ickes L . (2003) Iron supplementation during pregnancy, anemia, and birth weight: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 78, 773781.
4. World Health Organization & UNICEF (2004) Focusing on Anaemia: Towards an Integrated Approach for Effective Anaemia Control. Geneva: WHO; available at http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/WHOandUNICEF_statement_anaemia.pdf
5. National Nutrition Agency of the Gambia, Medical Research Council (2001) A Nationwide Survey on the Prevalence of Vitamin A and Iron deficiency in Women and Children. Banjul, The Gambia: NaNA.
6. Prual A, Galan P, De Bernis L . (1988) Evaluation of iron status in Chadian pregnant women: consequences of maternal iron deficiency on the haematopoietic status of newborns. Trop Geogr Med 40, 16.
7. Kuvibidila S, Mbela K, Masabi M . (1991) Iron status of Zairean pregnant women with and without serological markers of hepatitis B virus infection. J Trop Med Hyg 94, 104109.
8. Mashako L, Preziosi P, Nsibu C . (1991) Iron and folate status in Zairian mothers and their newborns. Ann Nutr Metab 35, 309314.
9. Diallo D, Tchernia G, Yvart J . (1995) The role of iron deficiency in anemia in pregnant women in Mali. Rev Fr Gynecol Obstet 90, 142147.
10. Isah HS, Fleming AF, Ujah IA . (1985) Anaemia and iron status of pregnant and non-pregnant women in the guinea savanna of Nigeria. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 79, 485493.
11. Ayoya MA, Spiekermann-Brouwer GM, Traoré AK . (2006) Determinants of anemia among pregnant women in Mali. Food Nutr Bull 27, 311.
12. Bouvier P, Doumbo O, Breslow N . (1997) Seasonality, malaria, and impact of prophylaxis in a West African village, I. Effect on anemia in pregnancy. Am J Trop Med Hyg 56, 378383.
13. Bouyou-Akotet MK, Ionete-Collard DE, Mabika-Manfoumbi M . (2003) Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum infection in pregnant women in Gabon. Malar J 2, 18.
14. Fleming AF, Ghatoura GB, Harrison KA . (1986) The prevention of anaemia in pregnancy in primigravidae in the guinea savanna of Nigeria. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 80, 211233.
15. Mockenhaupt FP, Rong B, Günther M . (2000) Anaemia in pregnant Ghanaian women: importance of malaria, iron deficiency, and haemoglobinopathies. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 94, 477483.
16. Kalenga MK, Nyembo MK, Nshimba M . (2003) Anemia prevalence in pregnant and breast-feeding women in Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Impact of malaria and intestinal helminthiasis. J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod 32, 647653.
17. Achidi EA, Kuoh AJ, Minang JT . (2005) Malaria infection in pregnancy and its effects on haemoglobin levels in women from a malaria endemic area of Fako Division, South West Province, Cameroon. 1. J Obstet Gynaecol 25, 235240.
18. Diagne N, Rogier C, Cisse B . (1997) Incidence of clinical malaria in pregnant women exposed to intense perennial transmission. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 91, 166170.
19. Singer LM, Newman RD, Diarra A . (2004) Evaluation of a malaria rapid diagnostic test for assessing the burden of malaria during pregnancy. Am J Trop Med Hyg 70, 481485.
20. Asobayire FS, Adou P, Davidsson L . (2001) Prevalence of iron deficiency with and without concurrent anemia in population groups with high prevalences of malaria and other infections: a study in Côte d'Ivoire. Am J Clin Nutr 74, 776782.
21. Dicko A, Mantel C, Thera MA . (2003) Risk factors for malaria infection and anemia for pregnant women in the Sahel area of Bandiagara, Mali. Acta Trop 89, 1723.
22. Knight R (1977) The use of Ferastral in iron-deficient, non-pregnant Gambian adults. Scand J Haematol Suppl 32, 348352.
23. Egwunyenga AO, Ajayi JA, Nmorsi OP . (2001) Plasmodium/intestinal helminth co-infections among pregnant Nigerian women. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 96, 10551059.
24. Richter J, Wagatsuma Y, Aryeetey M . (1996) Sonographic screening for urinary tract abnormalities in patients with Schistosoma haematobium infection: pitfalls in examining pregnant women. Bull World Health Organ 74, 217221.
25. Miaffo C, Some F, Kouyate B . (2004) Malaria and anemia prevention in pregnant women of rural Burkina Faso. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 4, 18.
26. Ejidokun OO (2000) Community attitudes to pregnancy, anaemia, iron and folate supplementation in urban and rural Lagos, south-western Nigeria. Midwifery 16, 8995.
27. Meda N, Cousens S & Kanki B (1996) Anaemia among women of reproductive age in Burkina Faso. World Health Forum 17, 369372.
28. Galloway R, Dusch E, Elder L . (2002) Women's perceptions of iron deficiency and anemia prevention and control in eight developing countries. Soc Sci Med 55, 529544.
29. Vangeenderbuysen C & Souley FL (2001) Pregnancy among single women in Niamey (Niger). Afr J Reprod Health 5, 98104.
30. Lardi AM, Hirst C, Mortimer AJ . (1998) Evaluation of the HemoCue for measuring intra-operative haemoglobin concentrations: a comparison with the Coulter Max-M. Anaesthesia 53, 349352.
31. Neufeld L, Garcia-Guerra A, Sanchez-Francia D . (2002) Hemoglobin measured by HemoCue and a reference method in venous and capillary blood: a validation study. Salud Publica Mex 44, 219227.
32. Burger S & Pierre-Louis J (2005) A Procedure to Estimate the Accuracy and Reliability of HemoCue™ Measurements of Survey Workers. Washington, DC: ILSI.
33. Bates CJ, Villard L, Prentice AM . (1984) Seasonal variations in plasma retinol and carotenoid levels in rural Gambian women. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 78, 814817.
34. Villard L & Bates CJ (1987) Effect of vitamin A supplementation on plasma and breast milk vitamin A levels in poorly nourished Gambian women. Hum Nutr Clin Nutr 41, 4758.
35. Allen HE, Crompton DW, de Silva N . (2002) New policies for using anthelmintics in high risk groups. Trends Parasitol 18, 381382.
36. Stephenson LS & Latham MC (2003) Hookworm. Current Treatment Options in Infectious Diseases 5, 291299.
37. Olds GR (2003) Administration of praziquantel to pregnant and lactating women. Acta Trop 86, 185195.
38. Stoltzfus RJ (2001) Iron-deficiency anemia: reexamining the nature and magnitude of the public health problem. Summary: implications for research and programs. J Nutr 131, 2 Suppl. 2, 697S700S.
39. Brabin BJ, Hakimi M & Pelletier D (2001) An analysis of anemia and child mortality. J Nutr 131, 2 Suppl. 2, 636S645S.
40. Stoltzfus RJ (2003) Iron deficiency: global prevalence and consequences. Food Nutr Bull 24, 4 Suppl., S99S103.
41. Geelhoed D, Agadzi F, Visser L . (2006) Maternal and fetal outcome after severe anemia in pregnancy in rural Ghana. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 85, 4955.
42. Haas JD & Brownlie T (2001) Iron deficiency and reduced work capacity: a critical review of the research to determine a causal relationship. J Nutr 131, 2 Suppl. 2, 676S690S.
43. Stoltzfus RJ, Mullany L & Black RE (2004) Iron deficiency anemia. In Comparative Quantification of Health Risks: The Global and Regional Burden of Disease due to 25 Selected Major Risk Factors, pp. 163209 [M Ezzati, AD Lopez, A Rogers et al., editors]. Geneva: WHO.
44. Lone FW, Qureshi RN & Emanuel F (2004) Maternal anaemia and its impact on perinatal outcome. Trop Med Int Health 9, 486490.
45. UNICEF & World Health Organization (2004) Low Birthweight: Country, Regional and Global Estimates. New York: UNICEF.
46. Zagré NM, Desplats G, Adou P . (2007) Prenatal multiple micronutrient supplementation has greater impact on birthweight than supplementation with iron and folic acid: a cluster-randomized, double-blind, controlled programmatic study in rural Niger. Food Nutr Bull 28, 317327.
47. Perez EM, Hendricks MK, Beard JL . (2005) Mother–infant interactions and infant development are altered by maternal iron deficiency anemia. J Nutr 135, 850855.
48. Beard JL, Hendricks MK, Perez EM . (2005) Maternal iron deficiency anemia affects postpartum emotions and cognition. J Nutr 135, 267272.
49. Algarin C, Peirano P, Garrido M . (2003) Iron deficiency anemia in infancy: long-lasting effects on auditory and visual system functioning. Pediatr Res 53, 217223.
50. Lozoff B, Jimenez E & Wolf AW (1991) Long-term developmental outcome of infants with iron deficiency. N Engl J Med 325, 687694.
51. Allen LH (1997) Pregnancy and iron deficiency: unresolved issues. Nutr Rev 55, 91101.
52. Aguayo VM, Koné D, Bamba SI . (2005) Acceptability of multiple micronutrient supplements by pregnant and lactating women in Mali. Public Health Nutr 8, 3337.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 19
Total number of PDF views: 179 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 169 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.