FREQUENCY OF ANAEMIA IN MARRIED WOMEN IN JUTIAL, GILGIT
Objective: To determine the frequency of anaemia in married women in Jutial, and to find out the relationship of risk factors of anaemia with levels of anaemia.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Household survey carried out in Jutial, Gilgit 1st February 2008 to 30th April 2009.
Patients and Method: Interview administered questionnaire along with blood sample collection using sterilized disposable syringes was used in this study on a total of 382 randomly selected, willing, married, non-pregnant, non-lactating women with one or more children. Results were considered significant if ‘r-value’ was more than 0.5 with ‘p-value’ less than 0.05.
Results: Clinical analysis of the blood samples showed that the average haemoglobin (Hb) level was 12.8 g/dl. According to WHO standards, no woman had severe anaemia with Hb level below 7 g/dl. Majority of the women (77.5%) had normal Hb > 12 g/dl. The calculated anaemia frequency of 22.5% was found to be little lower than that of national anaemiafrequency of around 29 to 33%.
Conclusion: Frequency of anaemia 22.5% can be attributed to good education system in Northern Area and the awareness of people towards health concerns. Another reason can be the initiatives by different NGOs working in the area specially Aga Khan Foundation to eradicate anaemia by developing a vast network of health facilities. Further research on the native foods, their exact nutritional values / iron contents and any special foods at higher altitudes (may be more than 1500 meters) can open new horizon to our understanding of anaemia in the northern areas.