Prevalence of iron and folic acid supplements consumption and associated factors among pregnant women in Eswatini: a multicenter cross-sectional study

Mabuza, G. N., Waits, A., Nkoka, O. and Chien, L.-Y. (2021) Prevalence of iron and folic acid supplements consumption and associated factors among pregnant women in Eswatini: a multicenter cross-sectional study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 21, 469. (doi: 10.1186/s12884-021-03881-8)

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Abstract

Background: During pregnancy, nutritional requirements increase and if not met, pregnancy-related complications may manifest. To prevent these undesirable outcomes, the World Health Organization recommends daily oral iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation as part of antenatal care. Despite this recommendation, the use of IFA supplements is still very low in several developing countries. Additionally, no prior information exists regarding the level of consumption of IFA in Eswatini. Thus, this study aimed to determine the prevalence of consumption of IFA supplements and to identify factors associated with the consumption of IFA supplements among pregnant women in Eswatini. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted among 330 pregnant women aged ≥ 18 years in their third trimester in Eswatini. Participants were recruited from eight purposively selected healthcare facilities from July 2019 to October 2019. Good consumption was defined as consuming all or almost all IFA supplements throughout pregnancy. Results: During the first trimester, 10.3 % of the participants consumed all or almost all IFA supplements. In the second and third trimesters, those who consumed all or almost all supplements were 37 and 39.7 %, respectively, for iron and 37.6 and 40.9 %, respectively, for folic acid. Barriers, including side effects, forgetfulness, safe previous pregnancies without IFA, others’ advice against consumption, IFA stock-outs, inability to meet transport costs, and inadequate supply of IFA tablets, contribute to low consumption of IFA. Multivariate logistic regression models showed that the barriers were inversely associated with good consumption of IFA supplements. Better knowledge and attitude toward IFA and older maternal age were positively associated with good consumption of IFA supplements.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The National Yang-Ming University through the International Health Program office provided funding for air travel from Taiwan (Taipei) to Eswatini. All other expenses were self-funded.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nkoka, Dr Owen
Authors: Mabuza, G. N., Waits, A., Nkoka, O., and Chien, L.-Y.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Publisher:BMC
ISSN:1471-2393
ISSN (Online):1471-2393
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 21:469
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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