Home » Over Half of Pregnant Women in Ghana Suffer from Anaemia.

Over Half of Pregnant Women in Ghana Suffer from Anaemia.

Ghana Health Service Urges Action as Anaemia, HIV Knowledge Concerns Rise

by Adenike Adeodun

A recent survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has unveiled a startling health concern: over 50% of pregnant women in Ghana are anaemic, a condition that notably exceeds the prevalence among non-pregnant women, which stands at 40%. This significant disparity has sparked a call for urgent action from health authorities and policymakers.

The 2022 Demographic and Health Survey, focusing on children aged 6–59 months, identified eligible households for anaemia testing. The findings revealed a disturbingly high prevalence of anaemia, particularly in the Northern region, where it affects 69% of the population, compared to 35% in the Ahafo region. Encouragingly, however, the survey noted a decline in anaemia prevalence among children from 78% in 2008.

The implications of anaemia, especially among adults, are far-reaching, causing fatigue and lethargy that can severely impact daily life. The survey also shed light on urban-rural disparities in healthcare, revealing that caesarean operations are more common in urban areas (27%) than in rural ones (15%). Additionally, the report disclosed that 21% of live births in the two years preceding the survey were delivered via caesarean section.

The survey’s findings on HIV knowledge and behaviour raised additional concerns. It revealed that 2% of women aged 15–49 engaged in sexual activity with more than one partner in the 12 months before the survey, with only 12% reporting condom use during their last intercourse. In contrast, 15% of men in the same age group had multiple sexual partners, with 18% using condoms during their last sexual encounter.

According to a report by Graphic Online, Dr Chris Opoku Fofie, Deputy Director in Charge of Reproductive and Child Health at the Ghana Health Service, emphasized the survey’s critical role in providing timely information for developing comprehensive health policies. He highlighted the severe implications of anaemia in pregnant women, including increased maternal mortality and poor birth outcomes, and urged the government to invest in public health education to promote preventive measures.

Dr Kyeremeh Atuahene, Director-General of the Ghana Aids Commission, called for an enabling legal policy framework to effectively address the HIV/AIDS challenge in the country.

This survey, the seventh since 1988, aims to monitor the population and health situation in Ghana. Conducted with funding from various international organizations, including USAID, UNICEF, and the World Bank, the survey interviewed a nationally representative sample of 15,014 women and 7,044 men across 17,933 households. Achieving a high response rate of 98% for women and 97% for men, the survey stands as a crucial indicator of the current health landscape in Ghana.

The findings from the Ghana Statistical Service’s survey have not only shed light on the critical health issues facing the country but also serve as a call to action for health authorities and the government. Addressing these concerns, particularly anaemia among pregnant women and HIV awareness is essential for improving the overall health and well-being of Ghana’s population.

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