Relationship between schistosoma mansoni infections and anaemia in pregnant women in Mwea Divison of Kirinyaga District, Central Kenya
Kariuki, Esther Wanjira
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Schistosomiasis or Bilharziasis is responsible for extensive morbidity and mortality worldwide. An estimated 200 million people are infected worldwide with 85 % of these cases occurring in sub-Sahara Africa. In Kenya, an estimated 5 million people are infected and another 12 million are at risk of infection. In Mwea Division, the prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni infection is 75%. Anaemia in pregnancy makes other complications of pregnancy more severe and causes 22% of maternal deaths in Kenya indirectly with maternal mortality rate reported to be 414/100,000 live births. The MOH is not actively identifying pregnant women attending ANC clinic who are infected with S. mansoni yet the anaemia commonly seen in these women in Mwea could be due to these infections. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Mwea Division and the main objective was to establish the relationship between S. mansoni infections and anaemia in pregnant women in Mwea Division. Cluster sampling method was used to recruit a sample of 288 participants. Structured interview was conducted to collect data on some selected reproductive health, social, economic and demographic characteristics of the study population after obtaining a written consent from the participants. Pregnant women with acute illness, history of ante partum haemorrhage (APH) or known chronic illness were excluded. A blood sample was collected once from each participant and examined for anaemia and malaria. Stool samples were also collected once and examined for worm infection. Collected data was edited, cleaned, coded and entered into the computer using MS Excel software. It was then converted to SPSS for windows version 10 for analysis. Results from this study show that prevalence of anaemia was 44%. The prevalence of the variables which were investigated and their association with anaemia was as follows: S mansoni infections 27% (p < 0.05), hookworm infection 24% (p > 0.05), contraceptive use 55.5% (p > 0.05), microcytic anaemia 11% (p < 0.001), marital status, 90% were married (p > 0.05), education level of primary school completion and above was 50% (p > 0.05) and subsistent farming as regular occupation was 83% (p > 0.05). Apart from microcytosis, the risk of anaemia was not significantly associated with all the variables which were investigated except S mansoni infection. The report of this study will be presented to policy makers in the MOH where it may be used to make decisions on planning to reduce morbidity and mortality due to schistosomiasis in pregnant women in Mwea Division and other areas where S. mansoni is endemic. The report will also be published in a suitable journal.