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Prevalence and determinants of anemia among pregnant women in East Africa; A multi-level analysis of recent Demographic and Health Surveys
Authors: Alemneh Mekuriaw Liyew, Getayeneh Antehunegn Tesema, Tesfa Sewunet Alamneh, Misganaw Gebrie Worku, Achamyeleh Birhanu Teshale, Adugnaw Zeleke Alem, Zemenu Tadesse Tessema, and Yigizie Yeshaw
Source: PLOS ONE , DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250560
Topic(s): Anemia
Pregnancy outcomes
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
Published: APR 2021
Abstract: Introduction: Anemia during pregnancy is a public health problem that leads to different life-threatening complications and poor pregnancy outcomes. So far, the evidence is scarce on pooled prevalence and determinants of anemia during pregnancy in East Africa for integrated intervention. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the prevalence and determinants of anemia among pregnant women in eastern Africa using recent Demographic and Health Surveys. Method: Secondary data analysis was conducted using data from recent Demographic and Health Survey datasets from 10 East African countries. A total of 8583 (weighted sample) pregnant women were included in the analysis. The multi-level mixed-effects generalized linear model (Poisson regression with robust error variance) was fitted to identify determinants of anemia. Finally, the adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) with 95% CI and random effects for the multilevel generalized linear mixed-effects model was reported. Results: In this study, the overall prevalence of anemia among pregnant women was 41.82% (95% CI: 40.78, 42.87) with a large difference between specific countries which ranged from 23.36% in Rwanda to 57.10% in Tanzania. In the multi-level analysis, teenage pregnant women (aPR = 1.22;95%CI:1.02, 1.40), unmarried women (aPR = 1.14; 95% CI;1.02,1.28), pregnant women who had unimproved toilet facility (aPR = 1.17;95%CI:1.06,1.27), and those women from countries with high illiteracy level (aPR = 1.12;95%CI; 1.07,1.18) had a higher prevalence of anemia during pregnancy. Conclusion: Anemia is still a public health problem in East Africa. Therefore, enabling the households to have improved toilet facilities by strengthening the existing health extension program, reducing teenage pregnancy, and improving the community literacy level is vital to reduce the prevalence of anemia during pregnancy in East Africa.