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Pan Afr Med J. 2014 Jan 18;17 Suppl 1:10. doi: 10.11694/pamj.supp.2014.17.1.3205. eCollection 2014.

Anaemia among school children older than five years in the Volta Region of Ghana.

Author information

1
Nutrition Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, P. O. Box LG581, Legon, Ghana.
2
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Ghana, P. O. Box LG 134, Legon, Ghana.
3
Parasitology Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, P. O. Box LG581, Legon, Ghana.
4
Regional Health Directorate, Public Health Division, Ghana Health Services, P. O. Box 72 Ho, Volta Region, Ghana.
5
School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, PMB, Cape Coast, Ghana.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Anaemia among children is a public health issue in Ghana. The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) was instituted on pilot basis in an effort to provide nutritious lunch to school children. Evidence on the nutritional status of pupils is needed to inform the expansion of GSFP. This study sought to assess anaemia among Ghanaian pupils.

METHODS:

This cross-sectional study involved a random sample of 143 pupils aged 6 to 12 years. Blood samples were collected and analysed for serum-ferritin (SF), C-reactive protein (CRP), haemoglobin and malaria-parasitaemia (MP). Stool samples were examined for soil-transmitted helminths. Dietary data were collected using the 24 hour-recall method on three non-consecutive days and a food frequency questionnaire. The Student's t-test was used to compare mean values between sexes. Binary logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with anaemia. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS:

SF and haemoglobin concentrations were 23.9 ± 15 ng/ml and 120 ± 11 g/L respectively. The prevalence of anaemia was 30.8%. More females (41.5%) than males (21.8%) had anaemia (p < 0.005). Seventy-one percent of pupils had low SF levels. MP prevalence was 67.8%. Hookworm infestation was only observed in males (18.0%). Dietary iron and vitamin C intakes were 18.98 ± 8.8 mg and 23.7 ± 6.7 mg, respectively. Child's sex, SF and MP were associated with anaemia. Males had a lower likelihood of being anaemic (OR = 0.2, CI 0.1-0.5, p = 0.002).

CONCLUSION:

The study findings underscore the need for multi-pronged approaches that address both malaria control and nutrition in order to reduce anaemia among pupils.

KEYWORDS:

Anaemia; Ghana; children; ferritin; haemoglobin; malaria; parasitaemia; prevalence; school

PMID:
24644526
PMCID:
PMC3948363
DOI:
10.11694/pamj.supp.2014.17.1.3205
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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