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To determine utilization of iron and folic acid supplementation services among pregnant women in Kenya. A cross sectional study was conducted at Nyeri Hospital, a regional referral hospital in central Kenya. Women attending the antenatal clinic were selected through systematic sampling. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to collect information on utilization of folic acid and iron supplementation services. Women who ingested folic acid or iron supplements for >4 days in a week were considered "highly compliant". The health worker in-charge of the antenatal clinic was interviewed about the frequency of supplement stock-outs during the past year. Haemoglobin concentration was measured directly from one drop of capillary blood and measured using portable HEMOCUE B-Hb photometer. Of the 381 women interviewed, only 23.6 % obtained antenatal care in the first trimester; 69.3 and 51.2 % received folic acid and iron supplements, respectively. However, only half (45-58 %) received any information about supplementation. Most women were initiated on folic acid (80.7 %) or iron (67.7 %) after 12 and 16 weeks of gestation, respectively, well after the recommended time period. However, more than 80 % of those who received folic acid and iron were highly compliant. Stock-outs were common at the facility. Of 361 women tested for Hb level, the prevalence of anaemia (Hb levels < 11 g/dl) was 7.8 %. Health workers need to better explain the importance of supplements to pregnant women. Women who come late to antenatal clinic miss opportunities to start supplementation early in pregnancy. Problems with supply chain management exacerbate the problem.
Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP), Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, P.O. Box 30016-00100, Nairobi, Kenya, email@example.com.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Maternal and child health journal
Antenatal iron-folic acid (IFA) supplementation improves maternal anemia and poor pregnancy outcomes. Antenatal use of IFA supplements also has an effect on child survival.
Anemia affects most pregnant African women and is predominantly due to iron deficiency, but antenatal iron supplementation has uncertain health benefits and can increase the malaria burden.
Update of the 2006 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on screening for iron deficiency anemia.
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The active metabolite of FOLIC ACID. Leucovorin is used principally as its calcium salt as an antidote to folic acid antagonists which block the conversion of folic acid to folinic acid.
Human females who are pregnant, as cultural, psychological, or sociological entities.
Cell surface receptors that bind to and transport FOLIC ACID, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, and a variety of folic acid derivatives. The receptors are essential for normal NEURAL TUBE development and transport folic acid via receptor-mediated endocytosis.
Derivatives of folic acid (pteroylglutamic acid). In gamma-glutamyl linkage they are found in many tissues. They are converted to folic acid by the action of pteroylpolyglutamate hydrolase or synthesized from folic acid by the action of folate polyglutamate synthetase. Synthetic pteroylpolyglutamic acids, which are in alpha-glutamyl linkage, are active in bacterial growth assays.
A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of FOLIC ACID in the diet. Many plant and animal tissues contain folic acid, abundant in green leafy vegetables, yeast, liver, and mushrooms but destroyed by long-term cooking. Alcohol interferes with its intermediate metabolism and absorption. Folic acid deficiency may develop in long-term anticonvulsant therapy or with use of oral contraceptives. This deficiency causes anemia, macrocytic anemia, and megaloblastic anemia. It is indistinguishable from vitamin B 12 deficiency in peripheral blood and bone marrow findings, but the neurologic lesions seen in B 12 deficiency do not occur. (Merck Manual, 16th ed)
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