Muhammad HammadShifa Tameer-E-Millat University, Pakistan
Title: Factors related to anemia prevalence among women of childbearing age in the period of global pandemic
Background: Health authorities in Pakistan in collaboration with local and foreign non-government organizations are working hard to achieve the targets set by World Health Organization in 2012, that is, to reduce anemia prevalence and its related factors. However, due to the prevailing COVID-19 crisis, all resources and attention were diverted toward it, which led to ignorance of existing basic health issues.
Objective: This study assesses anemia prevalence and its related factors among women of childbearing age in the period of global pandemic.
Methods: A time-lagged, cross-sectional survey was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire among 1,702 volunteer women aged between 15 and 49 years across five major cities of Pakistan from January 2021 to December 2021 using the non-probability consecutive sampling technique. Blood sample results were analyzed to determine prevalence and anemia severity. The chi-squared test and multiple logistic regression were performed to examine the relationship and effect of related factors with hemoglobin levels using SPSS version 26.
Results: Among the 1,702 respondents, 788 (46.3%) were non-anemic and 914 (53.7%) were anemic. Anemia prevalence in Karachi was slightly greater (n=294, 55.48%) compared to other cities, and the mean hemoglobin level was 11.98 ± 0.92 g/dL. The chi-square test and multiple logistic regression indicated that the respondents’ employment status, mother’s profession, family income, living conditions, chronic health conditions, use of iron and folic acid supplements, junk food, source of drinking water, and knowledge about anemia and its preventive measures were associated significantly with anemia during the pandemic.
Conclusion: Results confirmed that anemia is a multi-factor health problem and that it was totally ignored during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the prevalence increased during the pandemic. Therefore, more attention should be paid to anemia surveillance, anemia awareness programs, and mobilization of community health workers and volunteers to reach a wide range of the population, including women of childbearing age even during the pandemic.
I am an epidemiologist who has gained significant experience in clinical trial management throughout the entire process, from conception to development. I have effectively collaborated with a diverse team of experts including immunologists, chemical biologists, chemists, pharmacologists, and mycologists. Additionally, I possess strong abilities in writing protocols, extensive knowledge of ICH guidelines, experience in adverse event reporting, GCP auditing, proficiency in statistical software (SPSS, Smart PLS, R), as well as expertise in drug modeling and designing.