Adherence to iron prophylactic therapy during pregnancy in an urban regional hospital in Durban, South Africa.
Mkhize, Princess Zinhle.
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Iron and folic acid supplementation plays a major role in prevention and control of iron deficiency anaemia in antenatal care. In South Africa, although all pregnant women receive iron, folate and calcium supplementation throughout pregnancy, anaemia is still common. Low adherence may be a key contributor to the ineffectiveness of supplementation programs.Therefore, this study was conducted to examine adherence to prophylactic iron supplementation during the antenatal period. An observational clinical study was conducted in a regional hospital from January- December 2016. Women (n=100 HIV uninfected and n=100 HIV infected) were recruited and subdivided into three groups: (a) 1st attendees ≤ 34 weeks (n=33), (b) 34-36 weeks (n =34) and (c) ≥ 37 weeks /birth (n=33) respectively. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. Data were coded and computed onto an excel sheet for statistical analysis using SPSS software. Data from women (n = 24) from 1st visit attendees ≤ 34 weeks and 34-36 weeks subgroups indicated that pill count and self-reported data reflected 50% adherence and 46% non-adherence, being higher in the HIV infected women (75%). Nausea was the commonest side effect in all trimesters (79, 2%). Adherence (27.8%) and non-adherence (72.1%) to iron, folic acid and calcium supplementation were observed in 176 (88%) women. Promoting essential strategies on the importance of consumption and effectiveness of iron prophylactic therapy is essential to maintain and improve anaemia in antenatal attendees during pregnancy.