An Investigation Into The Incidence And Nature Of Anaemia In Pregnant African Women
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Anaemia is known to be prevalent among African women of the childbearing age groups in South and Central Africa, and it has been suggested by Davidson (1964) that iron deficiency is the commonest cause. The most likely causes of iron deficiency are dietary deficiency, and excessive loss due to childbearing and menstruation. Howard (1966), found that only 2,1 per cent, of 98 African schoolgirls aged 12-171 years had haemoglobin values less than 11 grams per 100 ml, with a mean value of 12,9. He found that parasitic infestations did not appear to be a major contributory cause of anaemia in his series. He remarked 'that these figures were in close agreement with those found by Beet (1949) in European school children. Donald (1964) states that in one series of women attending a Glasgow antenatal clinic, less than 50 per cent, of patients had a haemoglobin value greater than 10G per cent., at their first visit. Accordingly an investigation into the incidence and nature of anaemias in African women attending Harare Hospital seemed relevant, especially as most patients come from the lower socio-economic groups.