This cross-sectional study was conducted
at Khartoum locality, Khartoum, Sudan. Ibrahim Malik
teaching hospital was selected to carry out the study on
their antenatal care clinic. The study was conducted in
the period between October to December 2014.
Purpose: We have accomplished this study due to our
beliefs regarding the importance of maternity health and
the key factors affecting it. One of the major and
underrated factors is the importance of iron. It is
necessary to explore the factorsthat lead to the
development of iron deficiency anemia among pregnant
Sudanese women in order to design effective
interventions that reduce the burden of the problem.
Methodology: A questionnaire with close-ended
statementswas distributed to pregnant women who
attended the antenatalcare clinic at Ibrahim Malik
hospital.The questionnaire consisted of thirty-three
standardized questions divided into four sections:
Section A of the questionnaire covered questions on the
demographics of respondents; Section B contained
questions to evaluate the knowledge of respondents;
Section C contained questions to evaluate the attitudes of
respondents; Section D contained questions on practices
of the respondents.
For the calculation of the total score for risk groups
of iron deficiency anemia, the weights assigned for
selecting a specific group were as follows: pregnant
women and children (5 points); pregnant women only
(2.5 points); children (2.5 points);nursing mothers (2.5
points); elderly (1 point). The sum of frequencies for
each category was then multiplied by the assigned weight
points. The total sum of points calculated for all
categories was then divided by the expected full total
sum of the score which is the product of multiplying the
sum of frequencies by 5.
Using different weights for each selected item, the
same procedure was followed to calculate the total sum
of scores for the selection of food items. The score
weights assigned for different food items were as follows:
meat (5 points); pourpier (2.5 points); vegetables (2.5
points); pigeon pea (2.5 points); legumes (2.5 points);
fruits (2.5 point); Grewiatennax (2.5 points); milk (1
point); others (1 point).
The total number of participants in this study was 119
women. The mean age of the participants was 27.3 +5
(Mean+SD). The mean level of hemoglobin for the
participants was 10.4 + 0.12 gram/dl (mean + SD). Levels
of hemoglobin were also found to decrease with
multiparity, and primigravida had higher hemoglobin
levels compared to multiparous women.60.7 % of
pregnant women were identified as a high-risk group for
iron deficiency anemia. 47.1 % have agreed on the
importance of meat, and only 20.2 % have agreed on the
importance of legumes for pregnant women. Meanwhile,
72.2 % stressed the importance of fruits during
pregnancy. Interestingly, (58.0 %) stated that it is
necessary to consume milk and dairy products.
Interestingly, only five women mentioned that the
pregnant woman should eat what she usually eats, but in
a greater amount.
Regarding their beliefs and attitude about the
importance of taking iron tablets, 98.3% have admitted
the beneficial effects of these tablets on the health of both
the mother and the fetus.
All women involved in the study have confirmed the
importance of eating iron-rich foods during pregnancy.
86.6 % of pregnant women in the study managed to
report the record of their last hemoglobin measurement.
57.1 % of the participants reported that they regularly
drink tea after meals. Ninety-five participants (79.8 %)
reported regular use of iron tablets during pregnancy.
Conclusion: Overall, findings indicated that women who
had poor knowledge of iron deficiency anemia, had
unfavorable attitudes and weak practice and those who
had good knowledge had appropriate behavior. Levels of
knowledge and attitudes towards the factors
contributing to the development of iron deficiency
anemia during pregnancy were shown to be acceptable.
Keywords : Knowledge; Attitude; Practice; Khartoum; Anemia.