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The Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, EHNRI Conducts Consultative and planning workshop on Effective modalities to improve pregnant women’s compliance to daily iron supplementation, May 25, 2012, Adama.
According to Wro. Aregash Samuel, A/Director, Food Science and Nutrition Research Directorate at EHNRI, the consultative and planning workshop is organized to disseminate the finding of the rapid assessment that was conducted to understand the barriers and facilitating factors that affect utilization of iron-folate supplementation during pregnancy.
“Not only that, the consultative and planning workshop is organized also to plan effective modalities that helps to improve pregnant women’s compliance to daily iron supplementation” Wro. Aregash added.
It is reported in the workshop that, the rapid assessment was conducted in four big regions of the country namely; Amhara, Oromiya, Southern Nations and Nationalities and People and Tigray. From those Regions, two Woreda per region were selected and three health posts per Woreda have been visited. In-depth interview and observation was also conducted at the health centers of the selected weredas. The necessary data was also collected from selected sites using focus group discussion and in depth interview techniques from the target groups
On his opening remark, Dr. Amha Kebede, A. Director General, EHNRI, said that as the first draft report of this rapid assessment indicated, among women who gave birth on the preceding year of the survey that are utilized iron-folate tablets during pregnancy is founded to be about 40 percent. Among them, it is only 3.6 percent of them, who took iron supplements for the 90 or more days which is only 50 percent of the amount recommended by WHO. This indicates that, all of us, who are working in this particular area of the sector are demanded to put more effort and quicker our journey towards improving utilization of iron-folate tablets during pregnancy and maternal health in general.
Dr. Amha added, “as long as we stick to our planned programs and make the necessary effort and commitment, I hope we will improve this figure and attain the MDG 5, improve maternal health, within the remaining few years.
It is known that Micronutrient deficiencies, including iron-deficiency anemia, are common and have important implications for both mother and offspring. The 2005 EDHS estimated that 27 percent of women of reproductive age are anemic.
In order to address this and other nutrition related problems, The Ethiopian Government has launched the National Nutrition Program in 2008 which has an objective of increasing the proportion of women taking iron-folate tablets during pregnancy.