Dietary assessment of vitamin A and Iron among pregnant women at Ndhiwa Sub District Hospital – Kenya
Waudo, Judith N.
Kuria, E. N.
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Vitamin A and iron deficiencies are among nutritional deficiencies of public health concern in the developing countries. Infants, children, pregnant and lactating women are at high risk of both deficiencies as a result of inadequate dietary intakes and associated physiological changes that cause increased demands for nutrients. Focus has in the past been on vitamin A and iron status of children below five years with little on maternal vitamin A and iron status and dietary habits. Studies on dietary intakes of these nutrients among pregnant women are limited in Kenya. This study assessed vitamin A and iron consumption levels as well as relationship between vitamin A consumption level, iron consumption levels and nutritional status of pregnant women. A descriptive analytical case study was carried out among 162 pregnant women who were accessed from Ndhiwa Maternal and Child Health (MCH clinic) and outpatient sections and recruited for the study through simple random sampling. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and focused group discussion on home visits. The study found that most pregnant women (88%) did not meet their Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for vitamin A as indicated by intake of less than 800µg per day. Majority (91.4%) did not meet their RDA for iron as indicated by consumption levels of less than 30mg per day. About 29% had BMI of 19.0-25.0. Other 61% had BMI of <19.0 while 7% had BMI of 26.0-29.0 while 3% had BMI of >29.0. Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) showed 29% had normal nutritional status (.21 cm). 61% were under nourished (<21 cm) while 10% were over nourished (>26 cm). There existed significant relationship between vitamin A consumption levels, iron consumption levels and nutritional status of the pregnant women (r<1, P<0.05). Most women had two meals a day with irregular consumption of vitamin A and iron rich foods.