Healthwise Report: Half of Pregnant Women in Africa Afflicted by Anaemia, Reveals Minister
The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Ali Pate, recently disclosed a concerning health statistic, revealing that 50% of pregnant women in Africa are currently grappling with anaemia. This revelation was made at the close-out ceremony of the IVON Clinical Trial, where Professor Pate, represented by Professor Lanre Adeyemo, Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, shed light on the prevalence of anaemia in pregnant African women.
The IVON Clinical Trial, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, conducted a comprehensive study across 11 health facilities in Lagos and Kano States. The trial aimed to determine the efficacy of both intravenous and oral iron treatments for iron deficiency anaemia in pregnant Nigerian women.
Anaemia, as defined by the World Health Organisation, is characterized by a haemoglobin concentration below a specified cut-off point. This condition can be caused by various factors, including iron deficiency, acute and chronic infections, deficiencies in other essential vitamins and minerals (such as folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin A), and genetically inherited traits like thalassaemia.
The WHO sets the threshold for anaemia in pregnant women at a haemoglobin concentration of <110 g/L at sea level, emphasizing the increased risk it poses to maternal and child morbidity and mortality rates.