Anemia among School-Age Children: Magnitude, Severity and Associated Factors in Pawe Town, Benishangul-Gumuz Region, Northwest Ethiopia

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Muluken Birhanu
Lealem Gedefaw
Yaregal Asres


BACKGROUND: Anemia is a global public health problemassociated with increased mortality and morbidity. The cause ofanemia in school-age children is multifactorial and has beenassociated with delayed psychomotor development, poor cognitiveperformance, impaired immunity and decrease working capacity.The aim of this study was to determine the magnitude, severity anddeterminant factors of anemia among school-age children (5-15years) in Pawe Town, Northwest Ethiopia.METHODS: A community based cross-sectional study wasconducted from March 20 to June 19, 2015 in Pawe Town. A totalof 422 school-age children were included in this study. Socio-demographic and related data were collected using structuredquestionnaire. Anthropometric data were collected from each studyparticipant. Hemoglobin concentration was measured usingHemoCue ® Hb 201 + System (HemoCue, Angelholm, Sweden).Blood film for malaria diagnoses and stool examination forintestinal parasites were also performed. Data were analyzed usingSPSS version 20.0.RESULTS: The overall prevalence of anemia among school-agechildren was 33.9%. Mothers’ illiteracy (AOR=7.5, 95% CI: 2.6-16.3), being from a family with low income (AOR=4.8, 95% CI:1.3-10.9), being stunted (AOR=7.1, 95% CI: 2.9-11.9), beingunderweight (AOR=5.3, 95% CI: 2.1-13.3), infection with intestinalparasites (AOR=5.2, 95% CI: 2.1-12.6), and malaria infection(AOR=8.2, 95% CI: 1.8-14.5) were identified as associated factorsof anemia.CONCLUSION: In this study, anemia is a moderate public healthproblem among school-age children. School health strategies andinterventions targeting nutritional deficiencies and parasiticinfections might be very important.

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Original Article
Author Biographies

Muluken Birhanu, Assosa University, Assosa,Ethiopia

Departemnt of Medical Laboratory
Science, College of HealthScience

Lealem Gedefaw, JimmaUniversity, Jimma, Ethiopia

School of Medical Laboratory
Science, Institute of Health

Yaregal Asres, JimmaUniversity, Jimma, Ethiopia

School of Medical Laboratory
Science, Institute of Health