Research Articles

Adherence to iron prophylactic therapy during pregnancy in an urban regional hospital in South Africa

Princess Z. Mkhize, T. Naicker, O. A. Onyangunga, J. Moodley
South African Family Practice | Vol 61, No 5 : September/October| a4937 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v61i5.4937 | © 2019 Princess Z. Mkhize, T. Naicker, O. A. Onyangunga, J. Moodley | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 October 2019 | Published: 28 October 2019

About the author(s)

Princess Z. Mkhize, Women’s Health and HIV Research Group, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, South Africa
T. Naicker, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
O. A. Onyangunga, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
J. Moodley, Women’s Health and HIV Research Group, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, South Africa

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Abstract

Background: Iron and folic acid supplementation plays a major role in the prevention and control of iron-deficiency anaemia in pregnancy. Therefore, this study assesses adherence to prophylactic iron supplementation during the antenatal period in South Africa.
Methods: An observational study was conducted in a regional hospital from January to December 2016. HIV-uninfected (n = 100) and HIV-infected (n = 100)] women were enrolled and subdivided into three groups: (a) ≤ 34 weeks (n = 33), (b) 34–36 weeks (n = 34) and (c) ≥ 37 weeks (n = 33) gestational age respectively. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. Data were coded and statistically analysed using SPSS software. Pill count and self-reported data from women (n = 24) at ≤ 34 weeks and 34–36 weeks reflected < 50% adherence and 46% non-adherence, being higher in the HIV-infected women (75%). Nausea was the commonest side effect across all trimesters (79. 2%). Adherence (27.8%) and non-adherence (72.1%) to iron, folic acid and calcium supplementation were found in 88% of women.
Conclusion: This study found that adherence to micronutrient supplementation is low in pregnancy, albeit higher in HIV-infected women receiving antenatal care at a regional hospital in Durban, South Africa.
Abbreviations: Haemoglobin (Hb), Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV), antiretroviral therapy (ARV), zidovudine (ZDV), tuberculosis (TB), low to middle- income countries (LMICs), World Health Organization (WHO), antenatal clinic (ANC).


Keywords

adherence; anaemia; iron deficiency; pregnancy supplements; reticulocyte

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